AQA A2 Psychology Unit 3 Eating Behaviour: Factors Influencing Attitudes To Food And Eating Behaviour Notes

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A2 Psychology Unit 3 Eating Behaviour: Factors Influencing Attitudes To Food And Eating Behaviour Notes

What You Need To Know:

·  Factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviourr, e.g. cultural influences, health concerns, mood and stress.

Factors Influencing Attitudes To Food And Eating Behaviour:

Many different things influence food and eating behaviour, but research suggests attitudes and related cognitions are key factors.

Attitudes to food:

Expectancy value theory

·  Attitudes affect behaviour.

·   Eating behaviour is therefore influenced by beliefs and values (attitudes) we hold about food.

·  We make food choices based on our motivation to maximise chances of desirable outcomes and minimise chances of undesirable ones.

·   Food behaviour is ultimately due to a summary of all these positive and negative evaluations.

·   For example, whether we make healthy eating choices (e.g. five fruits a day) depends on our evaluations of such behaviour and the value we place on the possible outcomes.

Research evidence:

·  Research supports the usefulness of expectancy value theory in understanding eating behaviour. However, Sparks et al (2001) point out that attitudes are less likely to lead to a particular behaviour when they are ambivalent, i.e. both positive and negative.

Cultural influences:

·  Religion - Different religions follow different food rules. Judaism, for instance, forbids the eating and preparing of dairy and meat together, whilst Islam has food regulations called `Halal` (`lawful`) and prohibits foods such as pork, called `Haram` (`forbidden`).

·  Social interaction - Many cultures can identify a `traditional family meal` or `national dish`, and culture influences which foods are deemed palatable and how foods are prepared and eaten.

·  Social learning - Mealtimes provide important opportunities for children to learn what and how to eat, to eat unfamiliar foods and to behave as a member of the group.

·  Body shape - Eating or not eating certain foods is one way in which people seek to change body


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