A lose -lose situation: Agreeableness and prejudice towards overweight women

Jennifer Weisho Bruce Graham, Purdue University

Abstract

Prejudice and discrimination directed towards the overweight has been largely explained by the perception that the overweight are responsible for membership in the stigmatized group. The role of personable accountability for the stigmatizing condition allows one avenue for perceivers to justify prejudice towards the overweight. The goal of this research centered on identifying important predictors of negativity towards the overweight. In study 1 and 2, we varied the weight related individuating information presented to assess its influence on subsequent evaluative judgments. In study 1, we examined the influence of self-improvement information on the evaluative judgments of overweight females. In study 2, we examined the influence of more distally related weight information and its influence on evaluative judgments. Across two studies, we found consistency between evaluative responding and agreeableness, persons higher in agreeableness reported overall more favorable liking ratings of the overweight females than persons lower in agreeableness. The present research brings attention to the controllability of weight in prejudicial judgments. This research also directed further attention to the clarification of negativity and selectivity in the components of prejudice. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

William G. Graziano, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Psychology, Social

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