Constructive or cruel? Positive or patronizing? Reactions to expressions of positive and negative stereotypes of the mentally ill.

Douglas, K.M. and Sutton, R.M. (2011) Constructive or cruel? Positive or patronizing? Reactions to expressions of positive and negative stereotypes of the mentally ill. British Journal of Psychology, 102 . pp. 97-107. ISSN 0007-1269. (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/000712610X503339

Abstract

Previous research has shown that people respond with greater sensitivity to negative stereotypical comments about a group that are made from someone outside the group in question than from someone who belongs to the group. In this paper, we investigated if the same effect occurs in response to comments made about stigmatized groups. Specifically, we examined how people react to comments made about the mentally ill. The conditions under which people accept or reject stereotypes of the mentally ill may shed light on the conditions necessary for effective anti-discrimination campaigns. In the current study, participants responded to positive or negative stereotypes of the mentally ill voiced by either someone who has, or has not, suffered from a mental illness. Participants were more sensitive, agreed less, and evaluated the speaker less favourably when comments came from the out-group rather than the in-group source. The effects were strongest for negative comments, however contrary to previous research participants also responded less favourably to positive comments from the out-group source. These reactions were mediated by the perceived constructiveness of the speaker's motives. Implications for the effectiveness of anti-discrimination campaigns are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2010 14:24
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2014 17:21
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/26145 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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