Evolutionary explanation of eating behaviour

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  • Created by: Jack
  • Created on: 11-05-15 09:26
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  • Evolutionary explanation of eating behaviour
    • AO1
      • All behaviour are adapted to survival
        • Taste preferences are an adaptive response
          • 1) Preference for sweet/carbo-hydrates for high energy.
          • 2) Avoid bitter (as poisons taste bitter)
          • 3) Avoid sour (food that has gone off/is rotten taste sour)
          • 4) Taste aversion (avoiding things that have made us sick in the past)
          • 5) Neophobia (fear of new food - as they haven't been tasted)
          • 6) Over time we have an increased preference for high protein food.
            • This is thought to have lead to increased brain size, which is advantageous evolutionary.
        • Innate drive to survive
    • AO2
      • STUDIES
        • Garcia - fed wolves poisoned sheep. This made them sick, and then didn't eat sheep again (even when in a field full of them).
          • Supports theory as this is evidence for adaptive behaviours, such as taste aversion.
        • Desor - newborn babies liked sweet drinks and disliked bitter ones.
          • Supports theory as it shows evidence for dislike of bitter, preference for high energy foods and shows innate behaviour (rather than behaviour being learnt)
      • DEBATES
        • Determinism
          • Fails to explain why some people are anorexic, which is a threat to life and gene survival (because of amenorrhoea), or obesity where health is seriously affected.
          • Can't explain individual differences (e.g. vegetarianism, liking sour,etc)
        • Reductioni-sm
          • Ignores environmental factors like SLT and peer pressure.
          • Should produce a testable hypothesis, but can't as evolution has happened over a long period of time.
      • ISSUES
        • Culture
          • Explain cultural variations, as they are an adaptive response to food availability.
        • Traffic light system shows nutritional value of food, as it is more difficult to tell nowadays.
        • Could be learned behaviour (which is an uncontrolled extraneous variable).
        • Animal studies can't be generalised to humans as we don't know the similarities.
          • Also ethics of of putting wolves off normal diet/making them suffer.


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