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NOT ALL JOBS ARE SUITABLE FOR FAT PEOPLE: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE OF A LINK BETWEEN BEING FAT AND “OUT-OF-SIGHT” JOBS

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Abstract:

Previous research has shown the presence of antifat bias and discrimination towards fat persons in occupational settings. The main goal of this study was to investigate whether people spontaneously associate being fat with specific types of jobs. In particular, the existence of a strong mental association between obesity and job positions that do not require interpersonal contact was hypothesized. Participants were administered a computerized task called the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) aimed at assessing the strength of the association among concepts. As expected, results demonstrated that the category “fat person” was indeed more easily paired with low-contact jobs than with jobs requiring extensive interpersonal contact. In addition, media exposure and personal body weight were found to moderate the effect. In short, the study showed that fat persons are selectively associated in the mind with different job positions, and indications about potential moderating factors are provided.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.4.389

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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