Television psychologists: a survey of viewers' perceptions of television psychologists
Television portrayals of contemporary professional roles may be contributing to a misinformed, unfavorable public perception of the mental health care services and the professionals in the field. The present study examined the relationship between exposure to television programs depicting psychologists and mental health care services, and the association between those images and public perceptions of psychologists. Path analytic results indicated that exposure to television shows known to portray mental health professionals significantly predicted viewer perceptions of psychologists. Furthermore, exposure to soap operas predicted viewer perceptions of psychologists' personal attributes and attitudes towards seeking mental health services to a stronger degree than any other type of programming.