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The effects of symptom recognition and diagnostic labels on public beliefs, emotional reactions and stigma associated with intellectual disability

Connolly, T; Williams, J; Scior, K; (2013) The effects of symptom recognition and diagnostic labels on public beliefs, emotional reactions and stigma associated with intellectual disability. American Journal on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities , 13 pp. 211-223. 10.1352/1944-7558-118.3.211.

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Abstract

Labels are firmly rejected by the disability rights movement, yet the complex effects of labeling on lay beliefs are poorly understood. This study examined the effects of labeling on the general public’s reactions to people with intellectual disabilities. A sample of 1,233 adult members of the UK general population were randomly presented with either a diagnostically labeled or unlabeled case vignette, and their emotional reactions, causal beliefs, and social distance were assessed. Providing a label reduced social distance, increased biomedical attributions, and had a small positive direct effect on emotional reactions. Making a diagnosis of mild intellectual disability known may prevent misattribution to more stigmatizing causes and thus reduce social distance. Some undesirable effects were observed though on causal beliefs and associated emotional reactions.

Type: Article
Title: The effects of symptom recognition and diagnostic labels on public beliefs, emotional reactions and stigma associated with intellectual disability
DOI: 10.1352/1944-7558-118.3.211
Keywords: intellectual disability, stigma, public, labelling
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1373743
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