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Flashcards in Eating Behaviour Deck (30):


- affect eating habits, which can explain abnormal eating practices
- those that are more vulnerable to stress eat more


Mood Evaluation

• mixed research
• is there a difference between acute and chronic stressors
• can help explain differences in eating behaviour


Cultural Influences

- different cultures have different eating practices
- transmitted to group member by reinforcement and social learning
- special days and traditions such as pancake day
- some cultures restrict certain foods


Cultural Influences Evaluation

• more often just play moderating role on other variable to determine eating behaviour
• eating behaviours are now more global and less based on individual cultures


Health Concerns

• more often just play moderating role on other variable to determine eating behaviour
• eating behaviours are now more global and less based on individual cultures


Health Concerns Evaluation

• other factors more influential, often override intentions to eat healthy
• some individuals unsure of how to act
• if it was key factor everyone would eat healthily


Restraint theory

dieters place a cognitive boundary on food intake, however this often leads to episodes of overeating


Restraint theory evaluation

• research support, most diets do fail, theory doesn't explain those that do succeed
• methodologies have little relevance to real life
• often because we focus on food when dieting, casing people to eat more.


Other explanation of failure

- unsustainable targets/ unrealistic goals
- ghrelin stimulates appetite, more prevalent when dieting
- lessening of concentration


Explanations for success

combination of strategies, clear realistic goals
- motivation and confidence
- incentives/ social support (weight watchers)
- rewards
- social learning theory


Explanations for success evaluation

• individual differences contribute to success rate
• ethical concerns restrict research, self reports often used
• gender bias
• can lead to formation of effective diet programmes


Neural Mechanisms

- Hypothalamus plays vital role in food intake, LH is the hunger centre initiating eating behaviour and the VMH is the satiety centre that proud cues a feeling of fullness
- when glucose is low, the liver signals the LH which gives rise to hunger
- when eaten food releases glucose, activating the VMH, giving rise to satiety, stopping further eating
- particular foods eaten based on numerous other factors
- theory weakened when it was discovered rats with their VMH removed were still able to become hungry



- fat hormone leptin is secreted from fat cells in the blood, signalling the hypothalamus that calorific storage is high
- when people don't eat enough leptin levels fall, brain detects this drop and interprets it as lack of calories so gives rise to huger


Set point theory

- everyone has an individual metabolic rate there body is geared to generated by calorie consumption
- when people diet leptin levels decrease causing hunger pangs
- set point for obese individual is higher than for healthy one


Set point theory evaluation

LH as "feeding centre" is an over simplification
not fully understood, part of very complex eating systems
allot of animal experimentation
cognitive factors play a role
allot of lab experiments


Evolutionary explanation for food preference

- those that could find food were at an advantage
- food scarcity do high energy foods were favourable


Sweet preferences

- preference for sweet food is widespread, associated with high energy and non toxic content
- therefore would have aided survival, natural selection leading to universal food preference


Sweet preferences evaluation

• specific sweet receptors in tongue
• cross cultural evidence
• copper Inuit's
• fondness for sweetness is apparent throughout all animal kingdom
• neonate studies suggest preferences, but these studies are subjective


Salty food preference

- necessary for body to function
- keeps body hydrated
- animals will travel huge distances for it


Salty food preference evaluation

• not born with innate preference but develops at around 4 months
• difficult to test on neonates, unethical to test in large quantities
• adaptive in EEA but can cause harm today
• wide individual level of preference, expected to be universal
• neglects nurture side of debate


Psychodynamic Explanation of Obesity

- problems with unresolved conflicts occurring during childhood development through psychosexual stages
- examples include overindulgence during the oral stage where the libido is focused in the mouth
- could be caused depression or low self esteem which can also can be explained by psychodynamic means


Psychodynamic Explanation of Obesity evaluation

• may be true for some people, but can't explain everyone
• obesity rise and no parallel rise of unresolved childhood conflicts
• depression could be effect of obesity rather than cause


Behaviourist Explanations

- food cues associated to natural pleasure food brings (CC)
- food used to reinforce desirable behaviour (OC)
- SLT, imitation of role models


Behaviourist Explanations evaluation

• behaviourist treatments shown to be effective
• although doesn't guarantee that the cause
• food is prime reinforce, presents many opportunities to be used as a reinforce
• can explain the varying obesity around the world
• therapies only have short term success, suggesting underlying biological and cognitive factors are more important.


Genetic Explanation of Obesity

- inherited basis to obesity, some more genetically predisposed to be obese
- can be tested by seeing whether obese people share genetic similarity


Genetic Explanation of Obesity Evaluation

• can't be just genetic factors, need environment to be seen
• can't explain the upsurge in obesity, genes haven't changed but environmental factor such as availability of food have


Neurological explanation of obesity

- hypothalamus regulates eating behaviour, therefore faulty functioning could lead to obesity
- if VMH doesn't work then there will be no satiety response


Neurological explanation of obesity evaluation

• most research is correlation, lab tests impossible on humans much done on animals
• hoped leptin injections would be effective treatment but only work for a few people


Evolutionary Explanations of obesity

- selective favour for those who found food and could store it for periods of scarcity
- now food is readily available but people still have genes favouring obesity
- fatty foods preferred
- modern humans continue as if food supply is irregular and now there are food not part of the evolutionary past such as liquid calories
- thrifty gene, advantageous in times of food scarcity


Evolutionary Explanations of Obesity evaluation

• idea foodstuffs not present in EEA cause obesity can be criticised on grounds obesity has risen in countries were liquid calories aren't commonly used
• thrifty gene explains why only some people become obese and why people can eat allot and not put on weight such as the people of the Nile delta
• reductionist, ignores other factors
• deterministic