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VICTR Lab Presents Research at the UCD Undergraduate Research Conference

Can Persuasive Memes Influence Physical Activity?

In a recent presentation at the Undergraduate Research Conference, Enoch Montes, Camren Allen, Troy Hoang, and Therek Romo presented the results of their study examining how exposure to memes conveying stereotype threat or stereotype lift statements in regards to women’s physical activity proficiency influenced participant’s step counts and heart rate. A control condition with no meme was included. Accelerometers and heart rate monitors were used to measure physical activity performance following meme exposure. Relative to stereotype threat memes, stereotype lift memes increased step counts. Although results were small and preliminary, a replication of the study including male participants was recently completed. The findings are consistent with research showing that women are more susceptible to media messages alluding to body image. The study was conducted at the VICTR lab under Dr. Jorge Peña’s supervision. Due to COVID-19, the conference was moved online and, thus, the student research team created a video.