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Etiologies of Bulimia. Analyse etiologies, in terms of biological, cognitive and/or sociocultural factors, of Bulimia Nervosa.’ . Predictions?. Biological? Cognitive? Socio-Cultural?. Answer the following questions in your notes.

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etiologies of bulimia

Etiologies of Bulimia

Analyse etiologies, in terms of biological, cognitive and/or sociocultural factors, of Bulimia Nervosa.’

  • Biological?
  • Cognitive?
  • Socio-Cultural?

Answer the following questions in your notes.

  • Include the question and other relevant information in your notes.
biological factor 1 genetics
Biological Factor #1: Genetics
  • A study conducted on 2000 female twins found that there was a 23% concordance rate of bulimia in MZ twins and only 9% in DZ twin.
  • The prevalence of bulimia in US females is 2-3%.
  • Twin studies have concluded that the concordance for bulimia is higher in MZ than DZ twins. However, depending on the study this difference varies from 20-80%.

How do these statistics demonstrate that bulimia has a genetic influence?

What are two limitations of this study?

What is one possible explanation for the vast difference in concordance rates in different studies? (i.e. why is there a lack of test-retest reliability when studying bulimia?)

biological factor 2 serotonin
Biological Factor #2: Serotonin
  • The release of serotonin stimulates the medial hypothalamus.

Would you predict that bulimia patients have higher levels or lower levels of serotonin? Why? (Revise Hetherington and Ranson’s study on lesioning the hypothalamus of rats if you need help. )

What other symptoms might be influenced by levels of serotonin?

cognitive factor 1 body image distortion hypothesis
Cognitive Factor #1: Body Image Distortion Hypothesis

#1. Why do bulimia patients view themselves as being heavier or bigger than they really are?

There are two possible reasons (think biology and emotion).

explanation of the bidh
Explanation of the BIDH
  • Contextual factors (such as the instructions they are given by the researchers).
  • Do they “feel” fatter or do they “see” themselves as fatter?
  • Reformulated in the ‘90s: the hypothesis now suggests that bulimia patients are unsure of their size, so they err on the side of heavy.
men and women differ on their perceptions of their own body
Men and Women Differ on their Perceptions of their own Body

Research Results:

In a study where male and female college students were shown images of someone of their own gender. They had to select three that represented:

  • one that looked like them
  • the most attractive one
  • their ideal figure.
  • Men chose a similar shaped person for all three, whereas females chose b and c figures that were smaller than their own. They also chose thinner shapes than the men for all three.

Guess the results of the study (they were ordinary participants, not bulimia patients)

What are the possible reasons for the results of the study opposite?

How could this help explain the gender differences in prevalence of bulimia?

What level of analysis is this factor?

socio cultural factor 1 the media
Socio-Cultural Factor #1: The Media
  • 2/3 of men in the UK feel that a change in their body shape would make them more attractive
  • 1/3 have tried dieting

#1. Considering that body image and dieting are typically issues that are associated more with females than males, what are the possible explanations for the results of the research study on the right?