Attitudes to Food and Eating Behaviour Essay Plan

Here's an essay plan on the subject of attitudes to food and eating behaviour. Use it if you want, I chose these studies/explanations as they had the most to write on. When writing essays in psych remember about breadth and dept, 200 words approx for AO1 and 400 approx for AO2/3.


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  • Created by: Olivia
  • Created on: 09-01-10 14:37
Preview of Attitudes to Food and Eating Behaviour Essay Plan

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Attitudes to Food and Eating Behaviour Essay Plan
1. Briefly describe social learning theory and relate it to parental modelling which is children
watch what their parents eat and the parents control what they eat, and talk about how
media has an influence. Outline a study on parental modelling; Brown and Ogden 2004-
consistent correlations between parents and their children in terms of snack food intake,
body dissatisfaction and eating motivations. Outline a study on Media effects; MacIntyre
found that the media have a major impact both on what people eat and their attitudes to
certain foods.
2. Outline both ethnicity and social class in a couple of sentences.
3. Critical point 1: Social Learning Theory is useful and has strong evidence to suggest that it is
correct. Birch and Fisher in 2000 found that the best predictors of the daughters' eating
behaviours were the mothers' dietary restraint and their perception of the risks of the
daughters becoming overweight. This evidence implies that parental modelling is a good
explanation for discussing why we eat the types of foods we eat and our general attitude to
eating behaviour.
4. Critical Point 2: However, there is also the view that it is not just social learning that
determines what we eat. Some other psychologists argue that it is down to our evolutionary
past. For example we prefer fatty and sweet foods as sustain our hunger and give us more
energy for longer. For example Stanford found that chimpanzees go straight for the fattiest
parts e.g. the brain and bone marrow instead of the tender more nutritious flesh. Therefore,
the evolutionary explanation acknowledges the social learning theory but also offers a
deeper reason as to why we like particular foods.
5. Critical Point 3: Although, there is some question as to how easy it is to generalise the
conclusions found as there have been many different types of studies done involving, both
clinically diagnosed participants and non clinical that is comfort-eaters as well.


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