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Dissertation

Psychoneuroimmunology: Implications for psychology of mind/body indivisibility

28 July 1992

Abstract

Beginning in the 1960's, researchers representing the individual disciplines of . psychology, biology, endocrinology, immunology, and neurology began to pool their efforts to form a collective research endeavor: psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Out of that interdisciplinary enterprise emerged a wealth of empirical evidence revealing that the psychological processes generated by mind-brain markedly influence physiological function. The PNI research revealed that physiological systems are dynamic and mutually interactive, communicating via molecular substances which are influenced by cognitive and emotional processes. The PNI research literature, using human subjects, is surveyed and implications for psychologists are addressed.. Philosophical mind-body theories are reviewed and the role of mind in psychology is discussed. Finally, the current psychology research paradigm is challenged because it has failed -to address mind-body issues. Like the areas of physics and medical science, psychology is encouraged to develop a paradigm which is consistent across disciplines and facilitative of mind-body research.


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