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Dropping the weight stigma: nostalgia improves attitudes toward persons who are overweight

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Weight stigma, a negative attitude toward persons who are overweight, can lead to emotional detriment (increased vulnerability to depression and anxiety, decreased self-esteem) and discriminatory practices (denial of employment, lower wages, refusal of job promotion or college admission, healthcare deprivation), which have increased dramatically in the United States over the past decade. We report two experiments that implicate nostalgia as a resource or strategy for weight stigma reduction. We hypothesized and found that nostalgia about an encounter with a person who is overweight improves attitudes toward the group “overweight.” Undergraduates who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary) interaction with an overweight person subsequently showed more positive outgroup attitudes. The effect of nostalgia on outgroup attitudes was mediated by greater inclusion of the outgroup in the self and increased outgroup trust (Experiments 1 and 2), as well as reduced intergroup anxiety and greater perceptions of a common ingroup identity (Experiment 2). The findings have interventional potential.

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Citation

Turner, Rhiannon N., Wildschut, Tim and Sedikides, Constantine (2012) Dropping the weight stigma: nostalgia improves attitudes toward persons who are overweight Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, (1), pp. 130-137. (doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.09.007).

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 22 September 2011
Published date: January 2012
Keywords: nostalgia, weight stigma, inclusion in the self, outgroup trust, intergroup anxiety, common ingroup identity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 205015
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/205015
ISSN: 0022-1031
PURE UUID: d70fb493-1157-482f-81c5-f10678b98e0a

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Date deposited: 05 Dec 2011 14:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:05

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Contributors

Author: Rhiannon N. Turner
Author: Tim Wildschut

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