A Brief Induction of Loving Kindness Meditation to Reduce Anti-Fat Bias

30 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2023

See all articles by Kristen M. Lee

Kristen M. Lee

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Bita Ghanei

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

A. Janet Tomiyama

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Abstract

Background/Objective: Weight stigma is highly prevalent. However, existing weight stigma interventions are only modestly effective at reducing anti-fat attitudes. The current research proposes a novel approach using a loving kindness meditation (LKM).

Method: Experiment 1 tests whether random assignment to the LKM intervention reduces explicit and implicit anti-fat bias and increases empathy based on the LKM recipient with higher weight (close other vs. stranger). Experiment 2 tests whether LKM outperforms an empathy intervention or control to increase empathy, and if greater empathy translates to greater prosocial behavior.

Results: Results revealed that the LKM increased empathic care but did not reduce anti-fat bias compared to control; the LKM intervention, but not the empathy intervention, reported greater empathy compared to control in unadjusted analyses; and participants in the LKM and empathy interventions (vs. control) were more likely to engage in stigmatizing behavior.

Discussion: These findings suggest that empathy-based interventions may be less effective at reducing weight stigma.

Keywords: weight stigma, anti-fat bias, loving kindness meditation, empathy

Suggested Citation

Lee, Kristen M. and Ghanei, Bita and Tomiyama, A. Janet, A Brief Induction of Loving Kindness Meditation to Reduce Anti-Fat Bias. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4358728 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4358728

Kristen M. Lee (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

Bita Ghanei

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

A. Janet Tomiyama

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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