Social Psychology Essays

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They each completed online surveys to determine whether they considered themselves to be overweight or not, and how they would rate their own self-efficacy for controlling their calorie intake. Without informing the participants that the study was correlated to food in any way, the researchers had the women read an actual news article that explores notions that stigmatize overweight individuals, specifically why employers are reluctant to hire people who are overweight. The participants are then asked to speak about the facts of the article and its implications for five minutes, knowing they are being recorded. Then during a brief unobserved break, the participants sit and watch a brief film and are offered pre-weighed bowls of various types of snack foods. After this ten minute period, the participants took a post-questionnaire.

The intent of this method was to collect information about how the overweight women in comparison with non-overweight women in the study responded to exposure to the social identity threat presented by the article they read. The data collected provided information about their calorie intake after the exposure, their level of concern for being a target of weight stigma, and their ability to control their dietary intake. The results were for the most part as hypothesized. Overweight women consumed on average a significantly greater amount of calories than those
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