Moving beyond the Stigma: The Impression Formation Benefits of Exercise for Individuals with a Physical Disability Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This study examined whether the positive impressions formed of able-bodied exercisers extend to people with a physical disability. Participants (226 women and 220 men) read a description of a man or woman with a spinal cord injury who was described as an exerciser, nonexerciser, or control, and then rated the target (i.e., the person being described in the vignette) on 17 personality and 9 physical dimensions. Results revealed significantly more favorable ratings for the exerciser than both the nonexerciser and control on almost all dimensions. Additionally, the male control target was rated more favorably than the female counterpart on three personality and two physical attributes. Evidently, the exerciser stereotype may undermine negative impressions of people with physical disabilities.

publication date

  • April 2007