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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders

Discuss explanations
for the success and/or
failure of dieting.
(Jan 2010)

Introduction: Define
key assumptions,

Dieting involves
restricting food
intake to
reduce weight.
It can also be
combined with
Dieting is very
common in
societies at
least ­ about
40% are trying…

Page 2

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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders


Approach (A01) Methodology ­ studies (A01): Evaluation (A02):
Cognitive approach

(Although cognitive Herman and Mack(1975)
can also be biological) Hypothesis: Individuals have a Methodological issues
Boundary model: set-point and weight does not Individual differences, some
Suggests that hunger fluctuate very much above or…

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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders

Holistic ­ the boundary model
combines both biological and
cognitive factors. It is not

Restraint theory: Wardle and Beale (1988) Support:
Herman and Mack Aim: Whether dieting resulted
(1975), explains both in overeating. Herman and Mack (1975) Hypothesis:
consequences and Procedure: randomly assigned Supports…

Page 4

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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders

Gender bias ­ no men therefore
results cannot be generalised to a
male population.
Cultural bias ­ based on Western
(European) values and does not
take non-western values into
consideration. Misra (2007) said
there is evidence that young Asians
have a greater central fat mass…

Page 5

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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders

Ironic process, the role Wegner et al.,1987 ­ White Support:
of denial refers to Bear Study
when dieters try not to Procedure: Asked participants Wegner (1994) ­ admits the
think about eating to not think about a white bear existence of the `ironic…

Page 6

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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders

theory. A much
approach would
be to combine
social and
approaches to
explain the
success and
failure of
dieting as there
is no single
explanation that
can withstand
criticism. For
example, lots of
studies adopt
the behavioural
approach by

Page 7

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Bibi Masala PSYA3: Eating disorders

maintain weight
loss by the NHS,
so they must


Anisa -Team GR

really good well done


A very useful essay plan, my students will love this! Many thanks.


You're very welcome! More should be coming soon! 


this is amazing, however it doesn't have anything on the success ...? 


My argument is directed more towards the fact that dieting can be successful but it requires the diathesis approach. Note it says 'and/or'. I felt the argument for the failure of dieting is more stronger. But feel free to research the success of dieting, if you you have a strong argument for that stance. Take care! 

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