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Eating Behaviour Unit PSYA3 Miss Bird.

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1 Eating Behaviour Unit PSYA3 Miss Bird

2 Homework due  Essay question (January 2011)
Discuss the role of one or more factors that influence attitudes to food. (4 marks A01 and 8 marks A02). Lined paper with name on, no more than 2 A4 sides – it is only 12 marks so be selective.

3 Biological explanations of eating behaviour
AQA A Specification Eating behaviour Factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviour. For example: cultural influences; psychological influences (mood); and social influences (health concerns/media). Explanations for the success and failure of dieting. Biological explanations of eating behaviour Neural mechanisms involved in controlling eating behaviour. Evolutionary explanations of food preference. Eating disorders In relation to either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa: Psychological explanations. Biological explanations, including neural and evolutionary explanations. What we have covered Where we are now

4 Learning Objectives  To describe the theory of ironic processes of mental control and the role of denial. (A01) To outline and evaluate supporting research into eating behaviour and the role of denial. (A01/A02) To outline and evaluate theory and research into the success of dieting. (A01/A02) To apply knowledge of the success or failure of dieting. (A01/A02)

5 Today’s lesson Failure of dieting The role of denial
‘White bear’ study The theory of ‘ironic’ processes of mental control Supporting research Success of dieting The key to a successful diet The ‘jelly beans’ experiment Evaluation Anti-dieting programmes

6 Independent task Quiz – key terms
Answer the 5 questions in your booklets (NO NOTES!!!) Define body dissatisfaction. Define diet. Define satiety. Define cognitive dietary boundary. Define pre-loading.

7 Why do diets fail? 

8 The role of denial Research in cognitive psychology has shown that trying to ‘suppress’ or stop/deny a thought can often have the opposite effect, making it even more prominent.


10 Support for thought suppression
Wegner at al (1987) – White bear study Asked some PTs to NOT THINK about a white bear but to ring a bell if they did. Asked other PTs to THINK about a white bear and ring a bell when they did. RESULTS SHOWED THAT THOSE WHO WERE TOLD TO NOT THINK ABOUT THE WHITE BEAR RANG THEIR BELLS MORE OFTEN. What does this suggest? Trying to deny thoughts can actually make you think about them more.

11 The theory of ironic processes of mental control (Wegner, 1994)
What is irony? The use of words that mean the opposite of what you really think, especially in order to be funny. A situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected. A difference between what you intend to do (intention) and what actually happens (result). What is mental control? Thought control – degree of control over own behaviour influenced by your thought processes.

12 The theory of ironic processes of mental control (Wegner, 1994)
When denying something it often has the opposite effect (makes you want it more). Central to any dieting strategy is the decision not to eat certain foods, or to eat less of them (e.g. cakes). Denial in dieting – dieters try to suppress thoughts about ‘forbidden’ foods e.g. cakes. Attempts to suppress thoughts about these forbidden foods can end up increasing the dieters’ preoccupation with the very foods they are trying to deny themselves (e.g. cakes). As soon as a food is denied it simultaneously becomes more attractive and consequently trying to suppress thoughts about this food can actually make you think about it even more!

13 Independent task Supporting research
Read the research by Soetens et al (2006) and highlight the key words. Draw a visual representation of the study. Answer the 3 questions in your booklet. You have 10 minutes. Be prepared to feedback to the class.

14 Supporting research Erskine (2008)
Reported a rebound effect for the consumption of chocolate. Both men and women consumed more chocolate in a taste test if they had previously been asked to suppress thoughts about eating chocolate. This supports the idea that denying thoughts about food can in fact make you think about it more which in turn can then impact on eating behaviour (i.e. over-eating).

15 Why are diets successful? 

16 The key to a successful diet Redden (2008)
The secret to successful dieting is in the detail. Should focus on the details of a meal (e.g. tomato, lettuce, cucumber). Not the whole meal (e.g. ‘not another salad’). By focusing on the specific details of each meal, people get bored less easily and so are better able to maintain their diet.

17 Jelly beans experiment Redden (2008)
SUCCESS IN DIETING The key is to pay attention to the detail 135 participants Each given 22 jelly beans one at a time GROUP ONE General information given on computer ‘Bean number 7’ GROUP TWO Specific information given on computer ‘Cherry flavoured bean number 8’

18 Jelly beans experiment Redden (2008)
Findings: PTs got bored with eating jelly beans faster if they saw the general information. PTs enjoyed the task more if they saw specific flavour details of the jelly beans. Conclusions: This supports the idea that paying attention to detail can help to maintain an individual’s diet and influence eating behaviour as people are less likely to get bored and give up.

19 Independent task Complete the gap-fill evaluation exercise.
Down the margin bullet-point the key evaluation points. Do any other IDA apply? Be prepared to feedback to the class.

20 Success of dieting Anti-dieting programmes
Concerns about ineffectiveness and damaging effects of diet programmes. Led to development of programmes aimed at replacing dieting with healthy eating. Emphasize regulation of food intake by body’s hunger and satiety signals. Prevention of inappropriate attitudes to food e.g. food avoidance. Higgins and Gray (1999) – meta-analysis: participation in anti-dieting programmes associated with improvements in eating behaviour, psychological wellbeing and with weight stability rather than weight change.

21 Consolidation task January 2010 ‘Dieting often fails because people are trying to go against their biological drive to eat.’ Discuss explanations for the success and/or failure of dieting (24 marks). Prepare a detailed essay plan for the past-exam question above – at least one side of A4 to hand in to me.

22 For all of topic so far. Revision aids

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