Physiological Responses and Weight Salience
Obesity has been on the rise in the United States and as the obesity rate grows, so does the discrimination towards these individuals. With discrimination becoming a more prevalent and unavoidable part of life, serious consequences may arise varying from stress to even impaired cognitive functioning. Perceived weight stigmatization, which is an individual’s expectation that they will discriminated against due to their weight, and stereotype threat, which is when a person fears confirming pre-existing stereotypes of their group, greatly affect an individual’s reactions and behaviors. Depending on how the individual perceives a situation, stress responses vary from a positive challenge response to a negative threat response, which affects the person’s ability to react and behave. While little research is out there presenting perceived weight stigmatization as a moderator, it is predicted that perceived weight stigmatization will greatly affect stereotype threat and overall influence other aspects such as stress and cognitive abilities. Specifically, the salience of weight stigmatization would increase the threat responses in individuals who are already self-aware of weight stigmatization, leading to lower cognitive test scores compared to the performance of other individuals who may be aware of weight stigmatization but did not have weight stigmatization made salient. Participants will have both blood pressure and cardiac output measured to determine their stress responses. Methods of investigation and pilot data will be presented.
"Physiological Responses and Weight Salience,"
OSR Journal of Student Research: Vol. 5
, Article 121.
Available at: https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/osr/vol5/iss1/121