Document Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

psychology, nonverbal behavior, gender, weight, bias

Biography

I am Kasey Lobo, a Junior in the Honors College at Marshall University. I am majoring in Psychology and Spanish, with a minor in Communication Studies. I am interested in finishing my Bachelors at Marshall and receiving my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at an undecided University. I am interested in various topics within Psychology, but I have a particular interest in working with children and families.

Major

Psychology and Spanish

Advisor for this project

Dawn Howerton, Associate Professor, Psychology

Start Date

20-4-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2017 3:00 PM

Abstract

Weight stigma exists in society and social interactions, as smaller individuals tend to avoid close proximity to larger individuals (Puhl & Brownell, 2001). The current study aimed to investigate if personal distance in public settings was directly influenced by gender and weight. There were two general hypotheses for the present work. First, it was predicted that individuals would stand closer to those who were moderately similar in terms of weight than those who were completely similar in both gender and weight, moderately similar in gender, or completely dissimilar. Second, it was predicted that individuals would stand closer to smaller women, than smaller men, bigger women, or bigger men. Participants included 120 individuals (63 women and 57 men; 63 smaller and 57 bigger individuals) in the city of Huntington, WV. As predicted in hypothesis one, individuals of complete similarity tended to stand closer to one another. Additionally, individuals stood closer in proximity to smaller women as predicted by hypothesis two. It was concluded that individuals prefer to be closer to those who are more similar to them than those who do not share similar personal characteristics. The results provide evidence for the existence of bias in even the simplest, everyday interactions.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

Give Me Some Space: How is Nonverbal Behavior Influenced by Gender and Weight?

Weight stigma exists in society and social interactions, as smaller individuals tend to avoid close proximity to larger individuals (Puhl & Brownell, 2001). The current study aimed to investigate if personal distance in public settings was directly influenced by gender and weight. There were two general hypotheses for the present work. First, it was predicted that individuals would stand closer to those who were moderately similar in terms of weight than those who were completely similar in both gender and weight, moderately similar in gender, or completely dissimilar. Second, it was predicted that individuals would stand closer to smaller women, than smaller men, bigger women, or bigger men. Participants included 120 individuals (63 women and 57 men; 63 smaller and 57 bigger individuals) in the city of Huntington, WV. As predicted in hypothesis one, individuals of complete similarity tended to stand closer to one another. Additionally, individuals stood closer in proximity to smaller women as predicted by hypothesis two. It was concluded that individuals prefer to be closer to those who are more similar to them than those who do not share similar personal characteristics. The results provide evidence for the existence of bias in even the simplest, everyday interactions.