Regulatory Behavior Research Review

Regulatory Behavior Research Review

Kerry Dority


April 10, 2017

Tiffany Tibbs

Regulatory Behavior Research Review

Regulatory behavior is that ability to our self to be able to employ self-control to act in appropriate ways. It is the physiological balance achieved by organisms within their efforts to maintain core and primary needs. For instance, when it is too hot, the temperatures of the body increases causing sweating or forcing the body to move to a place that is cool, but when it is too cold, the neural circuits in the body causes involuntary responses like shivering or searching for a source of heat. Therefore, there are different types of behavior regulatory, and in this case, hunger is one of them.

Summary of the Article

In behavior regulation, there has to be control of impulses so as to bring something to an end or even it may require doing some things that are not of our will. Furthermore, it affects the ability of human body to manage energy, attention, emotions and behavior in ways that cannot be socially compromised and those that assist us in realizing goals. It also brings about the ability to be focused, stays alerted as well as calm and to be able to manage stress causing elements such as noise, distractions, and challenging situations. Regulation of behavior is what helps us to regulate stress by the aid of self-control. Here now comes the role of the nervous system; to receive and transmit information, monitoring and giving respond to both internal and external changes. Also, it controls and coordinates body functions in general. Messages are sent through the nervous system by neurons but nerve impulses transport electrical signals coded by the neuron. During hunger, the taking of food is under homeostatic regulation since eating comes in a highly-motivated manner and is reinforced by behavior such that it produces feelings of gratification and enjoyment. These functions are as a result of chemical senses like taste and smell. Hunger motivation is regulated by the brainstem as well as the limbic glucose-monitoring type of neurons that receive and transmit neurochemical information. The brain is responsible for deciding the time to eat and also the amount to eat.


Is it possible to control hunger? Hunger can be monitored in the hypothalamus. Remember, hunger is not just the need for food, but it is a behavior that can be regulated. The hypothalamus comprises two types of neurons; one that is concerned with signals of hunger and the other one is responsible for being satisfied. Food produces energy to the body, and so when the rations of energy to the body decreases, ghrelin levels increase but suppresses when one begins taking food. Therefore, it is not possible to control eating, but it is possible to predict when and how much to eat. Those are the only two dimensions under which hunger can be monitored, but it is not feasible to do away with eating, it is fatal.

Methods used


This entails taking an in-depth observation on the subject of interest and describing the behavior as per the observation. People have got different behaviors when it comes to hunger. For example, in low-income families, most of the family members end up struggling for food which is not the case in wealthy households. This method is important when examining these behaviors and how people regulate them. Some people tend to eat too much when they are hungry hence overfeeding while others can restrict themselves to the amount of food they take hence avoiding overeating. When these two groups of people are observed, it is possible to describe their hunger regulatory behavior in terms their reactions towards it.


This is the face-to-face meeting with the subject of interest to obtain the required information from them. The interviewer and the interviewee exchange information according to the questions asked. In this case, this was an excellent method since people were able to respond differently when it came to hunger. The way people regulate their behavior when hungry is also very varied, and therefore this method was very appropriate. There are those when hungry end up being emotional whereas others are not. Additionally, others will endure eating disorders such as overeating whereas others will not be affected so much by the hunger. So, people behave differently when hungry.


These are a type of interview but in this case, written interview. They can be administered face to face or even sent to the subjects through other means such as telephone or being posted. There are two types; open headed and structured. The researcher makes an excellent selection of questions so as to ensure that the information given by the subject is the kind of information that they require. When collecting data on hunger as a regulatory behavior, it is good to use open headed questions since people behave differently concerning this organizational behavior.

An Evaluation of Hormones Involved and How They Relate to Hunger


Leptin keeps the amount of fat in the body at a level that is is released by the fat cells and determines the number of calories needed by the body by communicating to the brain not to eat too much or too little. When hungry, the level of leptin drops and the brain sends signals of hunger. Leptin hormone regulates appetite behavior by controlling the body on when and how much to feed (Klok, Jakobsdottir, & Drent, 2006).


It is additionally referred to as the hunger hormone since it is produced only when one is affected by hunger. Its levels increase before any meal but drop after eating. It is responsible for appetite, and if its levels are very high, then it leads to too much eating and vice versa (Klok, Jakobsdottir, & Drent, 2006).

Neuropeptide Y

It is also responsible for appetite just like ghrelin. It observes the number of calories by restricting the level of leptin (Kokot & Ficek, 1999). For example, those people who consume too much food in one sitting are caused to do so by this hormone.

Findings of the study

During this study, the researcher found that people have different ways of regulating their behaviors when hungry. There are those hormones that regulate our hunger behaviors which include leptin, ghrelin and Neuropeptide Y (Kokot & Ficek, 1999). Those people who tend to eat too much at a have a lot of Neuropeptide Y hormone and ghrelin while leptin controls the amount of fat in the body. However, the methods used by the researcher had some problems which included:

1. The questionnaire method does not determine the truth of the information given.

2. Questionnaires were only appropriate to the literate group.

3. The interview process was consuming a lot of time.

4. In the interview, some interviewees were not attentive.

5. The observation method was also time-consuming.

The researcher concluded that there are different behavior regulations regarding hunger. This was true because people have different hormones and also the effects of these hormones are also different amongst various individuals. Also, the research conducted had a lot of relevance in the field of psychology since most of the hormones that are linked to hunger are psychological and also, most of these processes that lead to hunger are as well an impact on psychology (Austin & Marks, 2008).

Finally, it is true that hunger can be controlled by the hormones in the body and there are different effects of these hormones in various individuals. That’s why people control hunger behaviors differently. All these are as a result of reactions in the body. However, human beings feed to sustain their life, but hunger has to be maintained since it is an essential need.


Austin, J., & Marks, D. (2008, November). Hormonal Regulators of Appetite. International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology, 2009(141753). doi:10.1155/2009/141753

Klok, M. D., Jakobsdottir, S., & Drent, M. L. (2006, August). The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans: a review. Obesity reviews, 8(1), 21-34. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00270.x

Kokot, F., & Ficek, R. (1999, Jul-Dec). Effects of neuropeptide Y on appetite. PubMed, 25(4-6), 303-5. doi:57464

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