© 2002

The Psychology of Food and Eating

A Fresh Approach to Theory and Method

  • Authors
  • Brings together more traditional treatment of the psychology of eating with fascinating research material on how and why we eat
    Broad coverage of both experimental and critical psychological theory
    Written in a personal, accessible style which demystifies academic material
    Includes new research data from the perspective of the individual

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Introduction

    1. John L. Smith
      Pages 1-23
  3. Focus on Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. John L. Smith
      Pages 27-47
  4. Post-Positivist Research Reports

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. John L. Smith
      Pages 173-193
    3. John L. Smith
      Pages 194-213
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 214-235

About this book


There has long been an interest in food among psychologists across the full range of the discipline, from the physiology of hunger and the psychophysics of taste and smell to the development of food preferences and the social psychology of food-related behaviour and attitudes. In this new text, John L. Smith takes a much-needed broad view of the field, bringing together physiological research, psychodynamic theory, and sociological perspectives in a way that both celebrates their differences and explores their potential fusion.

The Psychology of Food and Eating provides more than a 'dry' decontextualised physiological explanation of food and eating. It moves on to enable students to see food in its wider context in terms of everyday life and real routines. It provides an overview of social scientific approaches to the study of food (biosocial, socioanthropological, structural, feminist/psychodynamic) and an appreciation of the various ways that social psychological perspectives can be applied to real-life contexts.

With its detailed (and almost confessional) account of the research process, students will gain an insider's perspective on how observational and idiographic techniques are deployed in practice in everyday settings. The book will prove of interest not only to students and researchers on health psychology, applied psychology and critical psychology courses, but also to all those looking for a really accessible introduction to contemporary alternatives to the more conventional research techniques used in this field.


behavior psychology social psychology

About the authors

JOHN L. SMITH is Reader in Social Psychology at the University of Sunderland where he has taught since completing his doctoral research with the Medical Research Council at their Social and Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of The Psychology of Action.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Psychology of Food and Eating
  • Book Subtitle A Fresh Approach to Theory and Method
  • Authors John L. Smith
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2002
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Social & Cultural Studies Collection Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-80020-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-333-80021-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4039-9039-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 235
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics Personality and Social Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site