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Chapter 11

PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Human Sexual Activity, Bulimia Nervosa, Eating Disorder

Course Code
Dwayne Pare

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Chapter 11 Motivation and Emotion
Module 11.1 Hunger and Eating
Motivation: Concerns the physiological and psychological processes underlying the
initiation of behaviours that direct organisms toward specific goals
Include thoughts, feelings sensations, and bodily processes that lead to goal-directed
Drive: A biological trigger that tells us we may be deprived of something and causes us
to seek out what is needed, such as food or water
When drive is satisfied, reward centres in our brains become activated; reinforces our
behaviour, making it more likely that we’ll respond to these drives
Homeostasis: The bodys physiological processes that allow it to maintain consistent
internal states in response to the outer environment
Motivation is not only influenced by current needs, but also by the anticipation of future
needs...also known as allostasis
Physiological Aspects of Hunger
Need to consume enough nutrients so that you have enough energy to function involves
physiological responses as well as more complex cognitive and emotional factors
The “on” and “off” switches involved in hunger can be found in a few regions of the
hypothalamus, a set of nuclei found on the bottom surface of the brain
Electrically stimulating the lateral hypothalamus causes rats to begin to eat; may serve
as an “on” switch
Stimulating the ventromedial region of the hypothalamus causes rats to stop eating;
damaging it removes the “off switch” in the brain
Glucose: A sugar that serves as a primary energy source for the brain and the rest of the
Glucostats: Highly specialized neurons detecting glucose levels in the fluid outside of
the cell; if too low it signals the hypothalamus that energy supplies are low, leading to
Insulin: A hormone secreted by the pancreas, helps cells store this circulating glucose for
future use ...hunger decreases as insulin level rises
Satiation: The point in a meal when we are no longer motivated to eat..feeling caused by
CCK...neurons release CCK when intestines expand
In an experiment, researchers scanned people’s brains while feeding them pieces of
chocolate leading to activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, brain area that judges the reward
value of foods
Also found in the insula, which receives info about taste, and the basal ganglia, which
respond to physical rewards...however after consuming a lot the pleasurable food became
somewhat aversive
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Psychological Aspects of Hunger
Body hard-wired to like some foods more than others; have specialized receptors on the
tongue that are sensitive to the fat content of food
Send messages to the brain that stimulate the release endorphins and dopamine, both of
which are responsible for the subjective sense of pleasure and reward
Some people report cravings for a “sugar fix” (a term that seems to imply that addiction
to candy and chocolate bars is comparable to an addiction to a drug like heroin)
Stress modulates ghrelin, a hormone secreted in the stomach that stimulates stomach
contractions and appetite
Based on principle of allostasis, if you predict that an upcoming event will be threatening,
you will react by stocking up on energy reserves so that you are better able to deal with
this threat
Attention and Eating
Psychologists tested a technique known as bottomless bowl of soup; here volunteers were
asked to eat soup until they had had enough
Tube continued to fill the soup bowl from the bottom so that it could not be detected by
the volunteers
Stopped eating after consuming, on average, over 70% more than those participants
who knowingly refilled their bowls
Unit bias: The tendency to assume that the unit of sale or portioning is an appropriate
amount to consume
In one study, participants were given fresh or stale (14 day old) popcorn in either small
or large container; when container was large, participants ate more popcorn even if it was
incredibly stale and tasted like Styrofoam
Increasing size of dishes increases consumption by 18-25% for meals and 30-45% for
snack foods
Eating and the Social Context
Social facilitation: Eating more; Dinner hosts may encourage guests to take second and
even third helpings, and individuals with a reputation for big appetites will be prodded to
eat the most; longer a person sits socializing, the more likely he or she is to continue
Impression management: Eating less; Sometimes people self-consciously control their
behaviour so that others will see them in a certain way
Minimal eating norm suggests that another aspect of good manners- at least in some
social and cultural settings- is to eat small amounts to avoid seeming rude
Modelling: Eating whatever they eat; At first exposure to a situation, such as a business
dinner, a new employee may notice that no one eats much and everyone takes their time
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The newcomer will see the others as models, and so he too will restrain his eating, on
the other hand he would eat more if he sees others helping themselves in their 3rd or 4th
Obesity: Is a disorder of positive energy balance, in which energy intake exceeds emery
20% of Canadians had a height and weight ratio that would classify them as obese and
over 60% of Canadian adults could be classified as overweight
Affects the poor rather than the rich because unhealthy food is less expensive than
healthier ones
Anorexia and Bulimia
Anorexia nervosa: An eating disorder that involves (1) self-starvation, (2) intense fear of
weight gain and dissatisfaction with one’s body and (3) a denial of the serious
consequences of severely low weight
Bulimia nervosa: An eating disorder that is characterized by periods of food deprivation,
binge-eating, and purging
Both occur during mid-to late adolescence and have been on a rise
Bulimia marked by tendency to be impulsive and also much more likely to enter
treatment programs because they find binge-purge cycle disturbing
Patients with eating disorders report greater levels of premorbid (before the disorder
began) life stress than do age-and gender-matched individuals without eating disorders
Perceived loss of control interacts with psychological variables such as depression, guilt,
anxiety, and perfectionism; low self-esteem and/or suppressed anger
Friends causing eating disorder by learning attitudes and behaviours from them
Reproduction suppression hypothesis states that females who believe they have low
levels of social support from romantic partners and family members are more likely to
engage in dieting behaviour
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