How is stigma communicated? Use of negative counterargument to communicate stigma.

The study analyzed 3 factors: the impact of presentation stimuli (size of instructor, and student comments), the effects of participant characteristics, and use of counterarguments to express stigma. A total of 308 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 experimental conditions or the control by an online randomizer program available through Qualtrics. Results showed that significantly more women showed intention to enroll in a course on health at every size (HAES). The results showed that positive emotion generated from reading the HAES description mediated the relationship between acceptance of the course and intention to enroll. Approximately one third of participants (36%) showed approval for the course, whereas 51% showed strong or partial disapproval for the course. Instead of using unqualified expression of stigma, many participants showed stigma in the form of negative counterargument. These results suggest that counterarguing may be a face-saving mechanism to express stigma. The study discusses the implications of counterarguing in the communication of stigma. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)