Event Title

Perceived Weight Stigma and Inhibitory Control: The Moderating Role of Weight-based Discrimination

Presenter Information

Gia Macias
Sarah Tveit

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation/Art Exihibt

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Location

Event Center A & B

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Joseph Wellman

Start Date

5-19-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

5-19-2016 2:30 PM

Abstract

Increased prevalence of obesity has led to discussion of the issue as a threat to the health care system and a societal burden to others (Tomiyama, 2014). Viewing the problem in this manner has resulted in greater stigmatization of the overweight (Tomiyama et al., 2014), which can result in increased discrimination toward these individuals, rendering them vulnerable to negative psychological consequences (Tomiyama, 2014; Puhl & Heuer, 2009). In the present study, we examined weight-based stigma as a moderator of the relationship between perceived weight stigma and cognitive ability (i.e., inhibitory control). We hypothesized that greater perceptions of weight stigma would be associated with decreased performance on an inhibitory control task when weight-based discrimination was made salient. Prior to the study, undergraduate students completed an online survey that assessed perceived weight stigma. Participants who considered themselves to be overweight were then recruited for a laboratory study involving an article reading task to manipulate the salience of weight-based discrimination, and a computerized cognitive task to measure inhibitory control. Preliminary results showed that participants who scored higher on perceived weight stigma performed significantly worse on the inhibitory control task than participants who scored lower on perceived weight stigma. Moreover, weight-based discrimination moderated this relationship, such that greater perceived weight stigma led to decreased inhibitory control ability only for those participants who read the discrimination article, but not for participants who read the control article. The present findings have theoretical and practical implications for both understanding and addressing the health consequences of weight-based discrimination

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May 19th, 1:00 PM May 19th, 2:30 PM

Perceived Weight Stigma and Inhibitory Control: The Moderating Role of Weight-based Discrimination

Event Center A & B

Increased prevalence of obesity has led to discussion of the issue as a threat to the health care system and a societal burden to others (Tomiyama, 2014). Viewing the problem in this manner has resulted in greater stigmatization of the overweight (Tomiyama et al., 2014), which can result in increased discrimination toward these individuals, rendering them vulnerable to negative psychological consequences (Tomiyama, 2014; Puhl & Heuer, 2009). In the present study, we examined weight-based stigma as a moderator of the relationship between perceived weight stigma and cognitive ability (i.e., inhibitory control). We hypothesized that greater perceptions of weight stigma would be associated with decreased performance on an inhibitory control task when weight-based discrimination was made salient. Prior to the study, undergraduate students completed an online survey that assessed perceived weight stigma. Participants who considered themselves to be overweight were then recruited for a laboratory study involving an article reading task to manipulate the salience of weight-based discrimination, and a computerized cognitive task to measure inhibitory control. Preliminary results showed that participants who scored higher on perceived weight stigma performed significantly worse on the inhibitory control task than participants who scored lower on perceived weight stigma. Moreover, weight-based discrimination moderated this relationship, such that greater perceived weight stigma led to decreased inhibitory control ability only for those participants who read the discrimination article, but not for participants who read the control article. The present findings have theoretical and practical implications for both understanding and addressing the health consequences of weight-based discrimination