If you can't see - see if I care ... An experimental study on the effects of seriousness, personal responsibility and openness on stigmatization of visually impaired persons

Wilma Fiesler, Lilian Lechner*, Arjan Bos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    This study investigates the impact of seriousness of impairment, personal responsibility for the onset of the handicap, and openness about the impairment on perceivers' emotional and behavioral reactions towards people with a visual impairment. Students (N = 176; response 100%) read a vignette in which seriousness, personal responsibility and openness were manipulated. After reading they had to answer questions about their emotions and behaviour. Results revealed that blindness is related to stronger feelings of pity and fear, stronger stigmatizing reactions and less social support than partially sightedness. High personal responsibility was related to stronger feelings of anger, less pity, more stigmatization and less social support than low personal responsibility. Openness about the visual impairment had an effect on perceivers' pity and leads to more supportive and less stigmatizing reactions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-31
    Number of pages9
    JournalPsychologie & Gezondheid
    Volume36
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

    Keywords

    • ADOLESCENTS
    • RESPONSES
    • EMOTION
    • STIGMAS

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