Discuss two or more evolutionary explanations of food preferences

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Mind Map by , created over 3 years ago

A-Level Psychology (PSYA3: Eating Behaviour) Mind Map on Discuss two or more evolutionary explanations of food preferences, created by a a on 06/07/2016.

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Created by a a over 3 years ago
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Discuss two or more evolutionary explanations of food preferences
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1.1 Environment of evolutionary adaptation (EEA)
1.1.1 Humans first emerged 2 million yrs ago in the African Savannah Natural selection favoured those best adapted to the environment
1.1.2 Preferences for fatty, energy rich foods (e.g. meat) were favoured Because it was a feast-famine cycle so important to have lots of energy
1.1.3 Milton 2008 There was a need to eat meat to help brain development, as plants alone wouldn't have given enough protein
1.2 Taste Aversion
1.2.1 Originally known as bait shyness, as rats quickly learnt that poison was toxic, so knew to avoid it
1.2.2 Garcia 1955 Rats exposed to radiation (which made them ill) after eating saccharin quickly learnt to avoid it Thiamine deficient rats that were injected with thiamine after eating a certain food developed a preference for it
1.2.3 This had huge advantage in EEA as toxins could quickly be avoided to aid survival
2 AO2
2.1 EEA
2.1.1 Gibson and Wardle Calories were v important in EEA. 4-5 yr old kids preferred fruits + veg that were the most calorific, not the sweetest
2.1.2 Cordain Humans in EEA could've survived off of vegetation alone, however this is disputed by anthropological evidence
2.1.3 Our innate food preferences that evolved to aid survival may be harmful now (e.g. preference for high fat, high cholesterol foods)
2.2 Taste Aversion
2.2.1 Sandell & Breslin 2006 35 ppts tested for the bitter taste receptor gene. Ppts then had to rate bitterness of various vegetables. Those with sensitive version of gene rated veg containing glucosinolates (which can be toxic) as 60% more bitter. Traits such as this would've have a very good evolutionary advantage
3.1 Post Hoc
3.1.1 Theory is post hoc as the conditions of the EEA can't be replicated so it's impossible to truly prove any of the theory
3.2 Animal Studies
3.2.1 Conditions in EEA can't be replicated, but some similar species (e.g. chimpanzees) are facing the same evolutionary pressures we may've faced, so their food behaviours gives insight into our evolved preferences
3.3 Cultural Differences
3.3.1 Bell et al Sugary foods given to native people of Alaska, despite not having any sweet foods in diet previously, ppts quickly developed a preference for it, which shows that food preference is innate and not culturally bound
3.4 Real Life Application
3.4.1 Berstein and Webster Patients about to undergo chemo were given novel flavoured ice cream to avoid a taste aversion occurring with a food they previously liked

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