Attitudes to food and eating behaviour

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Attitudes to food and eating behaviour
Cultural influences
Ethnicity:
AO1 ­ Suggests that body dissatisfaction and eating disorders are more characteristic of white
women than black/Asian (Powell & Khan)
AO2 ­ Mumford et al (1991) Contradict, bulimia greater in Asian schoolgirls
Striegel-moore et al (1995) `drive for thinness' more common in black
AO2 ­ Ball & Kenardy (2002) `acculturation effect' similar attitude to eating as those in Australia after
living there for a length of time, showing it may be the country/culture and not ethnicity
AO2 ­ Weakness, gender biased ­ women (although apply to homosexual men due to similarities in
body dissatisfaction), culture biased ­ may not achieve `AE' in every country
Social Class:
AO1 ­ Thought body dissatisfaction, dieting and eating disorders are more common of higher class
AO1 ­ Dornbusch et al (1984) surveyed 7000 American adolescents, found higher class females
more desire to be thin, more likely to diet to achieve this, reasons for this could be due to their
status and feel as though they have an image and a family name to uphold
AO2 ­ Self report technique, women often lie about how they feel about their weight
AO2 ­ Story et al (1995) contradicted, found that higher class more likely to be satisfied and less
likely to diet, could be them having more money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables which are often
more expensive than unhealthy foods
AO2 ­ Both can be criticised for culture and age bias, ungeneralisable and limited
Mood and eating behaviour
Binge-eating:
AO1 ­ Binge-eating, in extreme cases bulimia, used as escape from negative or `down' mood
AO2 ­ Davis et al (1988) usually more negative mood before binge than normal meal, suggesting the
abnormal eating behaviour due to low mood
AO2 ­ Self-monitored means they may be exaggerating their mood or making excuses for their
behaviour due to social desirability
AO2 ­ Wegner (2002) students recorded eating behaviour & mood over 2-weeks and found low
mood on binge days, but no increase after, raises Q why bulimics find it rewarding if there is no
increase in mood and only feelings of guilt and self-disgust
Comfort eating:
AO1 ­ Garg et al (2007) tested whether our mood effects our choice of food, 38 pps showed
sad/upbeat film and offered grapes/popcorn, sad ate more popcorn to give rush of euphoria,
upbeat more grapes to prolong good mood
AO2 ­ Correlation study, may be 3rd unseen variable, lack of pps makes it difficult to generalise
AO2 ­ Nutritional information about the foods made popcorn increase dramatically suggesting
knowledge plays key role, RWA) Comfort eating etc. reduced by more nutritional info on packaging
AO2 ­ Reductionist, evolutionary ... ancestors provided us with preference for sweet and fatty
foods so mood or cultural factors cannot be sole cause

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