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AUTHOR(S)

Project Implicit (Harvard University)

Competencies

  • Weight Bias & Stigma

Professions

  • Health Professionals

Learner Level

  • Graduate Education
  • Intern / Resident / Fellow
  • Practitioner
  • Undergraduate Education

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion
  • Self-Evaluation / Reflection

Implicit Associations Test: Weight Bias

| 1 HRS Explaining The hours

This validated measure of automatic, unconscious attitudes can be used to measure implicit weight bias. Increasing self-awareness is an important first step in understanding and reducing weight bias.

Overview

The weight bias IAT can be incorporated into existing training modules and/or used in conjunction with other self-assessments that providers and health care professionals can complete to learn about their attitudes toward patients with obesity, such as the Attitudes Toward Obese Persons Scale (ATOP), Beliefs About Obese Persons Scale (BAOP), Fat Phobia Scale, and Antifat Attitudes Scale (AFAS).

How to Access

The Project Implicit website houses the test and additional information on the scoring methodology: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Follow-Up Questions (from the Rudd Center)

Learners should also question their own attitudes and identify any personal weight biases that they may hold:

  • What assumptions do I make based only on weight regarding a person’s character, intelligence, professional success, health status, or lifestyle behaviors?
  • Could my assumptions be impacting my ability to help my patients?
  • How comfortable am I working with patients of different sizes?
  • What kind of feedback do I give to obese patients?
  • Do I give appropriate feedback to encourage healthful behavior change?
  • Am I sensitive to the needs and concerns of obese individuals?
  • Do I consider all of the patient’s presenting problems, in addition to weight?
  • What are my views about the causes of obesity? How does this impact my attitudes about obese persons?
  • Do I treat the individual or only the condition?
  • What are common stereotypes about obese persons? Do I believe these to be true or false? What are my reasons for this?