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Discuss the Role of One or More Factors That Influence Attitudes to Food (4 Marks + 8 Marks)

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By psociology
Words 1090
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Discuss the role of one or more factors that influence attitudes to food
(4 marks + 8 marks)

Social learning theory emphasises the impact that observing other people has on our own attitudes and behaviour. One way children acquire their attitudes to food is observing and imitating their peers. Birch et al. carried out an experiment finding that children would try a vegetable they disliked if their peers were eating said vegetable. This supports the view that peer modelling is significant in a child’s preference for vegetables since they shifted their preference for several weeks after the study was carried out, suggesting that effects are long lasting rather than temporary. This study strengthens social learning as a factor affecting attitudes to food as it provides evidence to suggest that children’s peers can influence their eating habits..

Further supporting evidence for the theory would be that of Meyer and Gast (2008). They carried out a survey which involved 10-12 year old boys and girls. They found a positive correlation between peer influence and eating disorder. The more the children liked their peers, the more of an influence they had on their eating habits. This supports social learning theory as it suggests that we imitate the eating behaviour of others, especially those who we view as role models or people we like e.g. friends.

The research has practical real world implications. This is because the findings suggest that our eating habits are affected by those around us and the messages they give to us through their behaviour. As a result, they can be used to help both advertisers, who want to influence more people to buy their food, and therapists, in deciding what the cause of an eating disorder is and how to solve or treat this. For example, to promote food, a company may release an advert showing a happy family enjoying their meal. Also a…...

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