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      Prejudice toward individuals with obesity: Evidence for a pro-effort bias.

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          Abstract

          Three studies examined the role of causal beliefs in weight stigma in order to better understand people's evaluations of individuals with obesity. Participants viewed weight-related information about a target individual and evaluated that target on various dimensions. Study 1 showed that offset effort information (i.e., information about effort to lose weight) had a greater impact on participants' evaluations of individuals with obesity than did other causal information, such as onset control and offset ability. Study 2 extended this finding by demonstrating that the duration of effort invested to lose weight is also important in determining participants' evaluations of individuals with obesity. Study 3 replicated the effect of effort (albeit in terms of effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle) on evaluations of individuals without obesity. Furthermore, in all 3 studies, disgust mediated the association between perceived effort and desire for social distance from the target. These findings highlight a key role for effort and disgust in weight stigma, and suggest that the negative evaluations of individuals with obesity might in part reflect a pro-effort bias. The present research has important implications for strategies to reduce weight stigma, and may even inform strategies to reduce social stigma beyond obesity, such as drug addiction. (PsycINFO Database Record

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Exp Psychol Appl
          Journal of experimental psychology. Applied
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          1939-2192
          1076-898X
          June 2016
          : 22
          : 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] School of Psychology, University of New South Wales Australia.
          Article
          2016-06807-001
          10.1037/xap0000079
          26866441

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