The Social Stigma of Mental Illness: Negative Perceptions and Misattribution

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2015-04-14
Authors
Brammer, Trevor
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Altmetrics
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Psychology
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Psychology
Abstract

Mental illness carries a stigma due to lasting cultural beliefs and misattribution; however, research has shown that these negative perceptions have decreased over the years, possibly due to paradigm shifts in psychology and psychiatry (Phelan 2005). In order to study the stigma related to mental illness, a vignette experiment was conducted. There were 88 participants who were randomly assigned a vignette and filled out a survey. An ANOVA was conducted which found that the responses participants gave for schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and a physical ailment (a ruptured disc) were statistically different. Participants were more negative towards someone with a severe behavioral disorder, schizophrenia. Major depressive disorder responses were more positive than the physical ailment responses, potentially due to proper attribution from education. Examining why depression has become less stigmatic but not schizophrenia should occur in future research

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