This course is discontinued

PSY4108 – Social Psychology of Food

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Food and eating are central to what we are as human beings and how we relate to each other. The current change of diet and eating habits in industrialized countries, a growing obesity problem, and the questionable sustainability of current food patterns point out their importance. This course will cover the best research on food and eating in social psychology, and draw on many different perspectives.

Learning outcome

The course will reflect on:

  • Essentials of nutrition and biological regulation of eating
  • Emotional regulation of food and eating: appetite, hunger, disgust
  • Intercultural differences in diets and eating practices, highlighting the social embeddedness and environmental dimensions of food
  • How food sharing and food taboos are used to define social identity, social status and morality
  • How individual diet and eating are shaped by social norms, self-regulation and habits 
  • How sugar intake influences cognition and self-control
  • Eating disorders, their development and treatment, with a focus on their social psychology
  • Dietary acculturation and eating disorders in ethnic minorities

Students of this course will acquire skills in identifying determinants of food choice, observe and analyse eating habits and their correlates, and predict outcomes of regulation attempts.


This course is aimed at students in the Master's Programme in Psychology, Health Psychology option. There is a limited number of places for students in the OLA-master as well as ERASMUS-students.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

We require that the students have knowledge about health psychology before they start this course. Required reading:

Ogden, Jane (2012): Health Psychology (med CD-rom), 5.ed. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press. ISBN: 9780077147259


The course is planned as covering 5 ECTS, and will be a combination of lectures and seminars. There is no up to date textbook on the topic. The seminars will be based on original research and review articles. Students will give short presentations on articles, and discuss them. A strong focus will be put on understanding, adapting and actually testing methods, such as questionnaires, observation instruments, and experimental manipulations. Part of the seminar will be a diet diary and a potluck dinner.  


Presentation in group.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.



Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Høsten 2013


Høsten 2013

Teaching language