Generating a Concourse Using Anecdote Circles: Exploring Students’ Views of Obesity

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Laura A. Richardson
Sue Ramlo


Weightism is the unfair treatment of a person based upon preconceived judgment of body size. This study sought to investigate university students’ views of obesity using the innovative approach of anecdote circles in association with Q Methodology (Q). Anecdote circles systematically capture representational stories to recognize the theoretical understandings that individuals have of a particular topic. Students’ subjective perspectives related to obesity has received scarce attention. This lack of attention may be partially caused by difficulties in measuring subjectivity. The treatment of obesity is multifactorial and complex. It is important to recognize that weight bias and stigmatization may potentially obstruct patients’ weight loss success. Multiple studies have substantiated the existence of weightism among healthcare professionals including those who deliver therapeutic exercise interventions in conjunction with other obesity treatments. Yet exercise therapy plays an important role in the mechanism of care for numerous chronic diseases such as obesity. This situation makes examining the perspectives about obesity of university students within an exercise science program a crucial starting point. This study explored, revealed and described university students’ views of obesity and demonstrated how anecdote circles can strengthen the concourse and thus assist with the creation of the Q sample in Q Methodology research.

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Richardson, L. A. ., & Ramlo, S. (2020). Generating a Concourse Using Anecdote Circles: Exploring Students’ Views of Obesity. Operant Subjectivity, 41. Retrieved from

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