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They Played a Game: Reactions to Obesity Stigma in a Cyberball Game. John B. Pryor & Glenn D. Reeder Illinois State University Eric D. Wesselmann, Kipling D. Williams, & James Wirth Purdue University. Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Meetings

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they played a game reactions to obesity stigma in a cyberball game

They Played a Game: Reactions to Obesity Stigma in a Cyberball Game

John B. Pryor & Glenn D. Reeder Illinois State UniversityEric D. Wesselmann, Kipling D. Williams, & James WirthPurdue University

Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Meetings

January 27, 2007, Memphis, TN

what is cyberball

What is Cyberball?

An online game of “catch”

Participants control an animated hand that tosses a ball to 2-3 other players who in turn toss the ball to each other or the participant

Other players are actually “virtual confederates” whose tossing behavior can be programmed

cyberball game
Cyberball Game

Megan

Ashley

Sara

Me

when other players ostracize someone the prevailing norm is to try to include that person
When other players ostracizesomeone, the prevailing normis to try to include that person

Megan

Megan

Megan

Ashley

Sara

Me

measure of implicit anti fat attitudes

Preview

Other

Players

Play

Cyberball

Basic Procedure

& Design

ostracism

of obese

player

1 obese

& 2 non-obese

players

Assess

Anti-fat

Attitudes

inclusion

of obese

player

measure

of explicit

anti-fat

attitudes

measure

of implicit

anti-fat

attitudes

ostracism

of non-obese

player

3

non-obese

players

inclusion

of non-obese

player

slide8

Participants received photos of the other 3 players prior to the Cyberball game. In half the conditions, one of the other players was obese. We altered photos to make the same person appear obese or normal weight.

Obese

Control

Control

cyberball game1
Cyberball Game

Megan

Ashley

Sara

pictograph judgments implicit anti fat attitudes amp
Pictograph Judgments: Implicit Anti-Fat Attitudes (AMP)
  • Before and after photos of 30 women taken from Weight Watchers website

Judgment

of

Meaning

1 second

1 second

Judgment

of

Meaning

hypotheses
Hypotheses
  • Adherence to an inclusion norm will be reduced when one of the players is stigmatized
  • Explicit attitudes will be related to more controlled or deliberative biases toward the stigmatized person
  • Implicit attitudes will be related to automatic biases toward the stigmatized person
slide15

Player X Ostracism: F(2,184) = 9.16, p < .01

Player X Obesity: F(2,184) = 3.19, p < .05

slide16
After first receiving the ball, how many turns did the participant delay in tossing the ball to the target?

Megan

Ashley

Sara

slide17

F(1,84) = 6.27, p < .02

(means adjusted

for covariates)

slide18

*

F(1,84) = 5.85, p < .02

* p <.01

slide20

Ostracism X Obesity X Implicit Bias

F(1,84) = 13.21, p < ,01

(means adjusted

for covariates)

slide21

*

*

*

* p <.01

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Inclusion norms are weaker when people interact with a stigmatized person
  • Explicit attitudes moderate the impact of a stigma upon more controlled behaviors
  • Implicit attitudes moderate the impact of a stigma upon more automatic behaviors.