Eating Behaviour: Mood

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.What does hunger make us feel and what does eating do?
Hunger= vigilant, irritable and aroused. Eating= satisfied, sleepy and calm (pleasurable).
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What type of tastes do most people find pleasurable and that calms down babies?
Sweet tastes.
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What are the two biological hypotheses to explain this?
The Seretonin Hypothesis and the Opiate Hypothesis.
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Outline the Seretonin Hypothesis.
Carbohydrates such as chocolate contain an amino acid called tryptophan which his used in the brain to make seretonin (neurotransmitter). Low levels of seretonin are linked to depression- eating sweet things makes people's mood's more positive.
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Evaluate the Seretonin Hypothesis.
-unlikely because pure carb's needed which is very rare, Benton proved that even a small amount of protein (e.g. in choc) prevents tryptophan entering brain so seretonin levels wont change.
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Outline the Opiate Hypothesis.
In the brain there are opiate neurotrans's e.g. enkaphalin which are known as 'endorphins'. Some foods release end's- they're addictive & give euphoric feelings. Brain's opiate pathways are part of our reward system which control feelings of pleasure
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What foods in particular release endorphins?
Spicy and Sweet food.
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Evaluate the Opiate Hypothesis.
+ evidence that opiates are linked to feeding behaviour, e.g. blocking the endorphin brain system using drugs reduces food intake and thoughts about food.
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What are comfort foods?
Stress responses as a result of childhood influences- what your parents made you when you was ill or gave you as a treat.
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What study proves the effect of Affective states on food consumption?
Garg et al.
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What was Garg et al's aim/hypothesis?
They wanted to manipulate happiness/sadness through a film and see if it influenced the consumption of popcorn. Expected that sad people would try to repair their negative mood by consuming more than happy people.
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What is Garg et al's method p.1?
P's watched either a happy or sad film and were told they would be evaluating the film after the 2 day study. Sad film= Love Story, Happy film= Sweet Home Alabama (matched vari's e.g. running time and box office success) watched in 'living room' env.
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What is Garg et al's method p.2?
P's randomly assigned to 1 of the viewing rooms where 5-8 p's watched movies together, Given 180g of popcorn and calorie free drinks. P's asked to rate the movie (1=sad, 9=happy) & their mood & what about the film made them sad/happy.
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How did Garg et al find out the amount consumed?
The popcorn container was weighed and amount consumed was calculated.
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What did Garg et al find?
Films successful in manipulating desired emotions. P's ate 28% more popcorn while watching sad film than when watching happy movie.
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Evaluate Garg et al.
- ethics (people's mental state, deception) + ecologically valid (realistic room), deception reduced demand characteristics, high internal validity.
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Name an issue in 'Mood and Food' studies?
Gender Bias (historically, most research involves female p's- ignores men who have a pre-occupation with body image) and ethics.
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What are the debates of 'Mood and Food' studies?
Nature v Nurture (most research suggests that eating behaviour is determined by our experiences). Free Will v Deteminism (eating behaviour learned through childhood means adults may not have much choice over what they eat).
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Card 2


What type of tastes do most people find pleasurable and that calms down babies?


Sweet tastes.

Card 3


What are the two biological hypotheses to explain this?


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Card 4


Outline the Seretonin Hypothesis.


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Card 5


Evaluate the Seretonin Hypothesis.


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