Physical disgust, germ aversion and antifat attitudes: the mediational effect of perceived controllability of weight

Alejandro Magallares, Jose Francisco Morales


Antifat attitudes refer to stereotyping based on people’s weight. A potential explanation for the strong negative attitudes toward obese individuals relates to people’s emotional reactions. In this study, conducted with 373 female students, it is suggested that physical disgust, germ aversion and perceived controllability of weight play a central role in explaining the individual differences that exist in antifat attitudes. Our results showed a positive relationship between physical disgust and germ aversion. Additionally, it has been found a positive correlation between physical disgust and perceived controllability of weight. Furthermore, a positive relationship between antifat attitudes, physical disgust and germ aversion was found.  Finally, perceived controllability of weight was positively related with antifat attitudes. The path analysis conducted showed the mediational effect of perceived controllability of weight in the relationship between physical disgust and antifat attitudes. Finally, it is discussed the results in the frame of antifat attitudes literature.


physical disgust; germ aversion; perceived controllability of weight; antifat attitudes; path analysis

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