Psychology A2 Eating behaviour essay

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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
I've had one A2 psychology lesson so far, and I got given a 24 mark essay which i have no idea how to even start. Obviously the most I've ever done is a 12 marker last year (I'm doing AQA), so I would really appreciate any help

the question is: 'Attitudes to food and eating behaviours are influenced by a range of factors such as culture, mood and health concerns. Discuss research into factors influencing food and/or eating behaviours.'

I've also got given a basic essay plan:
1. Outline a theory or explanation (not research)
2. Evaluate using research to support and contradict the theory -> 2 pieces of supporting research, 1 piece of contradicting research, and 2 IDA

My question is, what would I write for the theory/explanation? and how would I use the IDA paragraphs, because i thought that was mainly for evaluating research?

And yes, i know about the loopa essay books:P i'm not going to buy one until i know im definitely taking the subject next year. Just a basic essay plan from someone hopefully more experienced than i am will hopefully put me on the right track.
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Report 7 years ago
Here are some of the things I remember from my essay plan although it is basic as I have forgotten most of it :P
You have to have IDA in Unit 3 otherwise you cant reach the top bands, we were recommended to have 2 or 3 fully developed IDA points per essay


Social Learning Theory
Specifically parental modelling
Child learns attitudes and behaviors from parents
By observing and imitating them

AO2 for ^

1. Study to support
Questionnaires to pairs of mothers and daughters
Questions focused on snack food intake and body dissatisfaction
Strong positive correlation between parent and daughter
Suggest child learns from parent
Valid explanation

2. IDA
Weakness of study 1
Correlational only
No causal link
May be other factors causing relationship such as evolutionary factors like preferring fatty foods to gain energy to survive

3. IDA
Weakness of study 1
Gender Bias
Mothers and daughters only
No sons or fathers
Cautious generalizing to males
Explanation may not be valid for them
More research is needed to confirm

4. IDA
Problem with explanations is that it is deterministic
Some say we cannot choose role models
So helpless to change our attitudes to food and our eating behaviors
However some would say there is an element of free will
As when older develop thought processes to choose our role models
Hence can change our attitudes and behaviors


Behaviorist approach
Operant conditioning
Positive reinforcement


1. Supporting research
Study looked at a healthy eating programme used in primary schools
Children shown video which gave role models to be healthy
Given rewards for healthy eating such as stickers
Found that children kept on eating more healthily for up to 15 months after study ended
Suggests explanation is valid

2. Weakness of 1.
Lacks populations validity
Blah Blah basic AS stuff


Psychological influences
Such as mood
Mood can affect what we decide to eat


1. Supporting research
Garg et al
Participants watched either a sad or happy film
Offered popcorn or grapes throughout
Found that:
Those who watched happy film chose grapes more
Those in sad film ate more popcorn
Suggests mood affects eating behaviours

2. Weakness of 1.
Not a controlled experiment
Lots of EVs
For example the mood they were in before film started or behavior of other participants watching film


Lots of factors effecting attitude and behaviours
Take a holistic approach
To fully understand how our attitudes and behaviors are affected

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