Peer Influence On College Students

1864 Words 8 Pages
This paper focuses on the effect of proximity of peers on eating behavior on college students. First, I will give some background information with the relevant literature on the effect of group behavior and how it influences individuals. Then, I will discuss how college students ' eating behaviors may be affected by the proximity of peers, conceptually. Finally, I will describe a hypothesis, that is testable, and provide methods and research techniques that could be used to study group influence on eating. From the moment we are born, we are greatly influenced by social ties and environmental stimuli. In the early stages of life, a child is highly influenced by his or her parents. During adolescence, peers start to dominantly impact an individual. …show more content…
But research on group influence on eating behavior has barely been studied, especially for the college student population. A research team in Australia has studied how multiple social influences affect the amount of food females and males eat in fast food restaurant. The authors studied several social influences to determine if they affect food intake of kilojoules eaten (Brindal, Wilson, Mohr & Witter, 2015). Some examples of social factors include the gender of people they were with, the number of people they were with, and the setting of the place they were at. The independent variables were the various social influences, described previously, and the dependent variable was the amount of food eaten, in kilojoules, by the subjects. They collected data from 157 fast food stores. Their analysis concluded that females ate less when eating in mixed-sex groups compared to same sex groups. In contrast, they found the exact opposite to be true for males; the males ate more when surrounded by mixed sex groups, compared to the same sex groups. They concluded that gender plays a critical role in eating behaviors of both sexes. However, Brindal 's study has been done in a general population, consisting of mixed ages. The ages range from 13 years to 64 years. Hence it is a generalized conclusion of how different sexes …show more content…
If the primary college student 's eating behavior is consistent with person three and four or not consistent with person one or two, then it can be concluded that proximity of peers doesn 't affect eating behaviors of college students. However, due to the results of Asch 's conformity experiment, I think there will be at least a slight influence on proximity of peers on students ' eating behavior as group behavior is known to affect the behavior of an individual. The influence could be as small as eating the same food groups (ex. dairy) for a meal during the

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