Weight stigma, a negative attitude toward the overweight, can lead to discriminatory practices, as well as increase overweight individuals' vulnerability to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. We propose that a nostalgia induction can attenuate weight stigma. Participants identified an overweight individual, before writing about an interpersonal encounter with that individual, characterized by either central (e.g., “keepsakes” and “childhood”) or peripheral (e.g., “wishing” and “daydreaming”) features of the construct “nostalgia.” Participants who recalled a central (vs. peripheral) nostalgic encounter reported more positive feelings and beliefs toward overweight individuals in general. Moreover, nostalgia influenced behavior: Nostalgic (vs. control) participants reduced their social distance when anticipating an interaction with an overweight individual. The effect of nostalgia on all three outcomes (i.e., positive feelings, beliefs, and behavior) was mediated by greater social connectedness, which in turn was associated with higher inclusion of the outgroup in the self and increased outgroup trust.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Social Psychology|
|Early online date||13 Apr 2022|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2022|
- Social Psychology