Eating Behaviour

A2 psychology revision

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  • Created by: Maisie
  • Created on: 16-06-11 19:52

Factors Influencing Attitudes to Food

Culture Rozin: 'best predictor'

Birch: developmental approach - 3 important factors

1. exposure, 2. social learning, 3. associative learning


Garg et al: popcorn/film study - sad cond. ate 28% more/Ogden: eat to celebrate or improve mood

Stress: 'stress-eating paradox' - Greeno & Wing: 2 models

1. General effect model, 2. Individual differences model (emotional eaters/men & women)

Health concerns

Ogden: increased awareness = change in attitude


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Preferences for meat

Milton: unlikely early humans could have secured enough nutrition to become active & intelligent creatures without meat, MacArthur & Planka: 'Optimal Foraging Theory', Teaford & Ungar: mixed diets of humans & chimps make them well suited to different environments

Taste Aversion

Bait shyness: Garcia et al - rats made ill through radiation, Medicine Effect: Garcia et al - thiamine deficient rats, Smell: Garcia et al - wolves, Detecting Toxins: Sandall & Breslin - 'bitter taste receptor gene', Steiner et al: facial expressions, Embryo Protection Hypothesis (Profet): Buss - foods avoided most, Neophobia: Frost - tend to show greater liking to food when more familiar (exposure), Cancer patients: Berstein & Webster - novel icecream/chemo

Sweet & cooked foods

Sweet foods: provide lots of energy & are less likely to be poisonous Steiner (& Desor et al) - babies facial expressions, Grill & Norgen - rats - sweet over bitter, Cooked foods: Wobber et al - easier to eat, helps energy release & reduces wear/tear, Lucas et al: molars have decreased in size, Wobber et al - apes preferred more cooked foods than raw

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Success/Failure of Dieting

Biological Explanations

Mark: dieting & long term weight loss has a low success rate as biological factors make it difficult - dieters don't address underlying problems

Weigle et al: weight loss from low carb. & low calorie diet = low leptin & high hunger BUT if changed to low fat diet, there is no compensatory increase in hunger

- Reductionist: ignores important psychological factors

- Deterministic: doesn't allow for self-control

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Success/Failure of Dieting

Psychological Explanations

Truby et al: 6 month study of 4 commercial diet programmes - all pps had significant weight loss - doesn't fit with leptin hypothesis

Operant conditioning: feeling good after weight loss = rewarding

Social support: Truby's study was filmed for BBC - make have been motivation

Cognition: Ogden - weight loss regainers/weight loss maintainers, Lichtman et al - dieters delude themselves about food intake & exercise levels

Boundary Model: Herman & Poilvy - restrained eaters have a cognitive boundary before satiation

Restraint Theory: Herman & Mack - preload/test method (milkshakes & icecream) - 'what the hell effect', Kirkley - restrained eaters eat less calories

- Reductionist: ignores important biological factors -> need a multi-dimensional approach (e.g. Ogden & Hill - weight loss predicted by key life event)

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Controlling Eating & Satiation

Hypothalamus: Lashley - lateral hypothalamus = main hunger centre, ventromedial hypothalamus = main satiety centre, Arnand & Brobeck - leisons to LH, rats stop eating Hetherington & Ranson - leisons to VMH, overeating to excess

- Neural control of eating -> diabetics have consistently low levels of blood glucose yet maintain regular eating patterns & normal levels remain fairly constant - may not be best signal!

NPY: Wickens - injected into hypothalamus of rats = eating, Stanley et al - repeated injections = obseity in matter of days, Yang et al - also produced by abdominal fat

Leptin: secreted from fat cells - caloric storage high ('ob mice' missing gene that produces leptin)

Ghrelin: Cummings et al - ghrelin closely correlated with hunger levels

Meal size: Cannon & Washburn - balloon inside stomach - presence/absence of food (CCK)

- Cancer patients w/o stomach can still regulate eating

- De Castro: people eat more when in company - not just biological factors that matter!

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