Essay plans for AQA A UNIT 3

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Success and failure of dieting
RESTRAINT THEORY ­ HERMAN & MACK (1975)
The Restraint theory `was an attempt to explain both the causes and consequences
associated with the cognitive restriction of food intake. They suggested that
attempting not to eat actually increases the probability of overeating.
BOUNDARY MODEL ­ HERMAN & POLIVY (1984)
In an attempt to explain why dieting, might lead to overeating they created the
boundary model. Model explains the failure of dieting in terms of the greater distance
between hunger and satiety in dieters. It takes dieters longer to feel hungry and
therefore more food to reach a state of satiety. In addition, dieters have a
selfimposed desired intake. Unlike nondieters, when they go over this threshold of
desired intake, they experience a `what the hell' effect, and continue to eat until they
reach satiety, i.e. beyond the maximum level imposed as part of their diet.
RESEARCH SUPPORT ­ WARDLE & BEALES (1988)
Assigned 27 obese women to 1 of 3 groups for 7 weeks restrained eating, exercise
or nontreatment group. Women in restrained eating group ate more than women in
other 2 groups.
LIMITED RELEVANCE ­ OGDEN argues that restraint theory may explain the
overeating of some groups with disordered eating patterns (e.g. dieters, bulimics)
HOWEVER the behaviour of restricting anorexics can't be explained in this way. If
trying not to eat results in overeating, claims Ogden, then how to restricting anorexics
manage to starve themselves?
OBEISTY TREATMENTS BASED ON RESTRAINT MAY FAIL BECAUSE restraint
theory suggests that restraint leads to overeating, yet the treatment of obesity typically
recommends restraint as a way of losing weight. As a result, overeating may be a
consequence of obesity treatment, leaving many obse individuals depressed, feeing a
failure and unable to control their weight.
CULTURAL BIAS IN OBEISTY RESEARCH ­ IDA
Some cultural groups appear to find it harder to diet successfully because of a natural
inclination to obesity. Asian adults are more prone to obesity than Europeans (PARK
ET AL). Asian children and adolscents have a greater central fat mass compared to
other ethnic groups (MISRA ET AL.)
FREE WILL OR DETERMINISM ­ BORN TO BE FAT? ­ IDA
It is likely that a number of genetic mechanisms exert an influence on weight,
suggesting that the success/failure of dieting may be determined by factors other than
an individual's choice of lifestyle. One such gene codes for lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an

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LPL also makes it easier to
regain lost weight.
THE ROLE OF DENIAL
Research in cognitive psychology has shown that attempting to suppress or deny a
thought frequently has the opposite effect. WEGNER suggests any attempt to
suppress thoughts of forbidden foods only increases the dieter's preoccupation
with the very foods they are trying to deny themselves. As soon as food is denied,
therefore, it becomes more attractive.…read more

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A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of anti-dieting programmes (HIDDINS & GRAY)
found that they could improve both eating behaviour and psychological well-being,
and led to weight stability rather than weight change.
The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation
EEA refers to the environment in which a species first evolved.
EARLY DIETS
Preference for fatty foods was adaptive because harsh conditions in the EEA
meant that for early humans energy resources were vital to stay alive.…read more

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Bananas and potatoes are rich in calories and were most
preferred by 4-5 year olds. This supports the claim that humans have an evolved
preference for calorie-rich foods.
PREFERENCE FOR MEAT - GOOD FOR BRAIN GROWTH
A meat diet was full of densely packed nutrients and therefore provided a
catalyst for the growth of the brain.
As a result, humans were able to evolve into the active intelligent species they
became.…read more

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HOWEVER, although cultural differences do exist, they are
usually a fine-turning of evolved food preferences that are found in all cultures.
TASTE AVERSION
TASTE AVERSION CAN BE EXPLAINED by biological preparedness. Differential
learning abilities in different species has the ability to learn certain associations
more easily than others; particularly associations that help them survive.…read more

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