University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Division

(Emergent research) How do people’s perceptions of stigmatized individuals change based on word choices?

Presenter Hometown

Richmond, KY

Major

Psychology

Department

Psychology

Mentor

Sara Incera

Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract

(Emergent research) Labels can shape the image we have of a person. When charged with social stigma, labels become self-reinforcing agents that guide views and expectations of certain qualities. For this study, we will ask participants to rate vignettes describing an individual with a stigmatized personal quality (incarcerated individual or those with a mental disorder). The vignettes will contain either stigmatizing (e.g., criminal, mentally ill) or non-stigmatizing labels (e.g., person with a criminal offense, person with a mental illness) for the individual described. Participants will be presented with several vignettes and will be asked to rate each vignette on a Likert-type scale measuring: danger, trustworthiness, and stigma permanence. We hypothesize that participants will rate vignettes using stigmatizing language as being more dangerous, less trustworthy, and more permanently deviant. The labels used for stigmatized populations may influence the life course, interpersonal relations, and systemic opportunities of those they describe. These stigmatizing effects can have a wide range of practical implications for those suffering from this labeling.

Presentation format

Poster

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(Emergent research) How do people’s perceptions of stigmatized individuals change based on word choices?

(Emergent research) Labels can shape the image we have of a person. When charged with social stigma, labels become self-reinforcing agents that guide views and expectations of certain qualities. For this study, we will ask participants to rate vignettes describing an individual with a stigmatized personal quality (incarcerated individual or those with a mental disorder). The vignettes will contain either stigmatizing (e.g., criminal, mentally ill) or non-stigmatizing labels (e.g., person with a criminal offense, person with a mental illness) for the individual described. Participants will be presented with several vignettes and will be asked to rate each vignette on a Likert-type scale measuring: danger, trustworthiness, and stigma permanence. We hypothesize that participants will rate vignettes using stigmatizing language as being more dangerous, less trustworthy, and more permanently deviant. The labels used for stigmatized populations may influence the life course, interpersonal relations, and systemic opportunities of those they describe. These stigmatizing effects can have a wide range of practical implications for those suffering from this labeling.