Previous research consistently finds that people associate negative stereotypes, such as laziness & gluttony, with people who are obese. Although studies find that lifestyle is only a minor influence on weight gain, people continue to have negative attitudes towards obese people. Such negative attitudes can “spill over” and affect people’s perceptions of an obese individual’s performance. In the present study, participants were led to believe they were assessing the habits and opinions of recycling after reading a news article about a recycling program to be launched in a city called Pomville. A picture of either an obese man or an obese woman was presented with the news article, and described as the author of the news article. In the control condition, no picture was associated with the author of the news article. After reading the article, participants rated their attitudes about the quality of the new article. I expected to find that participants would report more negative attitudes towards the quality of news article when the article was authored by either an obese man or woman. However, contrary to my prediction, data did not support my hypothesis. Several reasons for these findings are discussed.
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