ERIC Number: ED251779
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Perceptions of Controllability and Attitudes toward Cancer.
Meyerowitz, Beth E.; And Others
Previous research suggests that belief in the uncontrollability of a situation results in maladaptive attempts to control outcomes; perceptions of cancer's uncontrollability may result in negative attitudes toward the disease and toward patients. To test this theory 160 college students read and responded to a paragraph describing a disease labeled either as cancer or as a fictitious disease. The descriptions were designed to manipulate subjects' perceptions of the degree to which the disease could be personally controlled through preventive behavior or through treatment. Subjects then completed a scale assessing their attitudes toward the disease and toward a person with the disease. Results generally confirmed that a disease perceived as controllable, through personal or physician control, is evaluated more favorably. Overall, cancer was described more negatively than the fictitious disease. Perceptions of control strongly influenced attitudes toward patients with the fictitious disease, but cancer patients were regarded positively regardless of level of control. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).