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Implicit Attitudes Towards Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Wilson, MC; (2013) Implicit Attitudes Towards Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Interest in the exploration of attitudes towards individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) has increased significantly over the last few decades. This research has largely focused on assessing explicitly reported attitudes via self-report measures. Despite numerous studies highlighting the significant influence that implicit attitudes can have on the behaviours of an individual (e.g. Bohner & Dickel, 2011), exploration of such attitudes towards this population is greatly lacking. Part one of this thesis details a systematic review of literature which examined implicit attitudes towards individuals with disabilities (physical and / or intellectual) via the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, Schwartz & McGhee, 1998). It considers methodological issues pertinent to the use of the IAT and future directions for research into implicit attitudes towards individuals with disabilities. Part two summarises the results of a study which explores implicit attitudes towards individuals with ID using a Single Target-IAT. These are contrasted with participants’ explicitly reported attitudes and stigma towards this population. The relationship between these variables and emotional reactions towards and contact with individuals with ID is also assessed. The study concludes that implicitly reported attitudes are negative and in marked contrast with the considerably positive explicit attitudes and low levels of stigma reported. Possible explanations for these differences and the implications implicit attitudes may have for individuals with ID are discussed. Finally, part three presents a critical appraisal which explores the process and challenges of assessing implicit attitudes towards individuals with ID and possible future developments of this approach. The use of web based research designs, and considerations for further research in the area are also discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Implicit Attitudes Towards Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Language: English
Keywords: Learning disabilities, Attitudes, Intellectual disabilities, Contact, Emotional reactions, Stigma, Disabilities, Implicit Association Test, Implicit attitudes
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1406694
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