The Learning Approach’s explanation for anorexia The Learning Approach’s explanation for anorexia

The Learning Approach’s explanation for anorexia - PowerPoint Presentation

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Uploaded On 2019-11-23

The Learning Approach’s explanation for anorexia - PPT Presentation

The Learning Approachs explanation for anorexia Keep in mind that 90 of cases are female between 1318 years Rarely begins before puberty DSMIV states it occurs in 051 of females in adolescence and early adulthood ID: 767281

learning anorexia weight admiration anorexia learning admiration weight approach models conditioning thinness slimness response food stimulus theory association social




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The Learning Approach’s explanation for anorexia Keep in mind that 90 % of cases are female between 13-18 years Rarely begins before puberty DSM-IV states it occurs in 0.5-1% of females in adolescence and early adulthood

Behavioural Explanations - Learning approach People learn how to be anorexic It could have developed due to rewards from the environment. Individuals are rewarded for becoming slim and losing weight as in today’s Western society models and pop stars are mostly very slim

Classical conditioning Classical conditioning: An association between thinness and admiration is learned. Step 1 Slimness starts out as a neutral stimulusBut then you learn to associate slimness with admiration.Therefore slimness = admiration

Fear of gaining weight can be explained through classical conditioning The fear of gaining weight is paired with eating and a classically conditioned anxiety response develops Next time the person has food they will feel anxious and in order to reduce the anxiety they will avoid eating

Stimulus response Slimming becomes a habit via a stimulus response mechanism. The individual learns to associate thinness (stimulus) with admiration and feeling good about themselves (response)

Operant conditioning Continuing admiration is reinforcing ; more weight loss , more admiration. Extreme weight loss gets attention and concern which is also rewarding. Avoiding food also gets attentionPunishing parents (they worry)can also be rewarding. Also negative reinforcement – avoiding food now the feared stimulus.

Social Learning Theory We learn what behaviours are successful (being thin), and may imitate this behaviour under appropriate conditions. E.g. in adolescence Supported by the study by Becker (1999) on Bulimia. Introduction of TV to Fiji increased bulimic behaviours.

Social Learning theory Social Learning theory Vicarious reinforcement : the slimness ideal is learned through the media. “She is admired, so ifI am like her I will be too”. She is a rolemodel

The Behavioural approach (evaluation) Explains gender differences as females more influenced by media models Though the male thinness stereo- type is increasing as is anorexia in males

Go over ARRM (attention, retention, reproduction &motivation) to make sure you remember how SLT works. Think Bo Bo doll Bandura Sutherland’s differential association theory Anorexia can be learnt through association, consequences of action and imitation of role models

The Behavioural approach (evaluation) Explains cultural differences: anorexia is non- existent in China. Chinese have a cultural norm respecting food and, thinness is not valued. Sui- Wah (1989) anorexia is rare in black populations in the West and non-Western cultures Though Hoek et al.(1998) disagree – they examined 44,192 records of patients admitted to hospital over 2 years 1987-89 in Curacao where it is ok to be overweight. Found 6 cases of eating disorders.Doesn’t explain individual differences: exposure to thin models doesn’t necessarily lead to anorexia, nor does everyone who diets become anorexic.

Exam Question Explain why, according to the learning approach, people suffer from anorexia nervosa. (5 marks)