Essentialist beliefs, stigmatizing attitudes, and low empathy predict greater endorsement of noun labels applied to people with mental disorders
stigma, essentialism, empathy, language, mental disorder
Maass, Suitner, and Merkel (2014) identified several negative consequences of the use of noun labels (e.g., John is a schizophrenic) applied to people with mental disorders. The current studies examined whether the endorsement of noun labels is associated with individual differences in essentialist beliefs, stigmatizing attitudes, and empathy, seeking to replicate and extend the findings of Howell and Woolgar (2013). In Study 1 (N = 282), undergraduates with high scores on measures of essentialist thinking and stigmatizing attitudes were more likely to endorse noun labels. In Study 2 (N = 258), undergraduates with low empathy scores and high stigmatizing attitude scores were more likely to endorse noun labels. These findings are discussed with respect to additional implications of noun labels applied to those with mental disorders, such as perceived treatability.
Howell, A. J., Ulan, J. A., & Powell, R. A. (2014). Essentialist beliefs, stigmatizing attitudes, and low empathy predict endorsement of noun labels applied to people with mental disorders. Personality and Individual Differences, 66, 33-38
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