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Raymond C. Hawkins II


Fielding Graduate University; The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA


Stereotypic attributions about overweight people (called weight stigma or bias) and slender people were elicited through semantic differential procedures and compared with self-attributions on the same bipolar personality trait scales. More negative personality traits were attributed to overweight people than to slender people and self-descriptions. Overweight subjects attributed negative traits to overweight people but did not self-endorse these negative personality characteristics. Internalization of weight bias was associated with a negative body-image and binge-eating, irrespective of actual body weight. Although these correlations are consistent with those of Carels et al. (2013), re-analysis of our findings using Grices (2011) Observation Oriented Modeling method showed a low percentage of correct classification of participantsself-perceived weight stigma based on negative body image. Caution is urged in inferring psychological maladjustments of persons internalizing weight bias in the absence of research showing that these effects hold for actual persons rather than statistical parameters.


weight bias internalization, obesity stigma, negative personality traits, weight loss maintenance

Cite this paper

Raymond C. Hawkins II. (2016). Weight Bias Internalization: Semantic Differential Measurement and Treatment Implications. Psychology Research, 6(12), 748-754.


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