Anorexia Psychological & Biological Explantions

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Mind Map by joshtan107, updated more than 1 year ago
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A2 PS3 Eating Behaviors Mind map: Psychological and Biological explanations of anorexia

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Anorexia Psychological & Biological Explantions
  1. Biological Explanations
    1. Neural Mechanisms
      1. Researchers have suggested damage to the Hypothalamus specifically the lateral hypothalamus ( controls hunger).
        1. Animal studies: Lesion studies show that damage to the LH can produce aphagia (failure to eat) in animals.
          1. Recent research suggests that anorexics have reduced blood flow to the LH
            1. Can't infer cause and effect whether the reduced blood flow is an effect of the disorder
            2. Heatherington Et al (1943) - VMH rats
              1. Used a particular breed of rat, they made lesions to the VMH and found that this led to hyperphagia(over eating) . They concluded that it was the satiety centre as it was normally activated when the animal was full or satiated at the end of a meal to stop further feeding
                1. Should be cautious when extrapolating data from animals, then generalising to all humans (validity)
            3. Evolutionary
              1. Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis
                1. Guisinger (2003) A long time ago our HG ancestors often had to move rapidly from place to place in search of food. If someone is lacking energy, their bodies wouldn't normally be able to cope with so much travelling around.
                  1. Key characteristics of anorexia: restlessness and high levels of activity. Which is contrasted with the usual response to starvation or weight loss (inactivity)
                    1. Argues that the body has adapted to survive in starvation mode and allowed HG's to move around despite being under weight. The denial of hunger would help the person to migrate ( famine in the area): Some anorexics show starvation can lead to high levels of restlessness and energy (with little food)= greater chance of survival.
                    2. IDA: Reductionist- Evolutionary theory states that maladaptive behaviors should decrease as we evolve. However anorexia rates are increasing, meaning that other factors must be involved
                      1. Evolutionary theory: unfalsifiable- All theories are based on assumption and researchers can t conduct experiments to back up their theories as it was all done in our past
                        1. Cant explain gender differences: Less than 15% of anorexia diagnosis is male.
              2. Psychological Explanations
                1. Social Learning Theory
                  1. Individuals will observe the behavior of models. These may be peers, parents or those in the media. Those in the media particularly may be more likely to be imitated due to the process of vicarious learning. The individuals will imitate the models behaviors in the hope of the same rewards
                    1. Supporting Study: Barlow Et al (1995): found that over half on contestants in the 'Miss America' beauty contest were 15% or more below the expected body weight for their height
                      1. We tend to see skinny as attractive in society. People are more likely to imitate these figures in order to gain the reward of fame ( Vicarious Reinforcement)
                    2. Further evaluation: Can explain gender differences, Can explain the increase prevalence due to more exposer to the media and role models getting skinnier ( real life application)
                      1. Cognitive plays a role. It is young women who are already vulnerable who are more likely to be effected by the SLT however maybe biological factors make us more vulnerable (Diathesis Stress Model)
                    3. Behaviorist Theory
                      1. Classical Conditioning: Leitberg Et al (1968) argued that anorexics may have learnt to associate eating with anxiety. Eating too much makes people insecure due to becoming overweight and unattractive. They therefore seek to loose weight ti reduce their anxiety. Weight loss is negatively reinforced, due to the absence of anxiety
                        1. Operant Conditioning:
                          1. 1.Lose weight
                            1. 2.Reinforcement: Receives praise and attention for small weight loss
                              1. 3.Individuals feel good about them selves and want to loose more weight
                                1. 4.Loss of weight becomes associated with attention from others and feeling good about themselves
                                  1. 5.Lose weight
                                    1. This acts as the second part of the process, food avoidance can be rewarding or reinforcing because it is a good way of gaining attention. Compliments= Positive reinforcement TV and getting bullied= Negative reinforcment
                                      1. Ignores cognitive processes which are clearly present as they are in the criteria
                                        1. Real life implication: Therapies that rewarded patients for maintaining certain weights have been proven as effective
                                          1. However not as effective compared to combining the behavioual explanation and cognitive processes.
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