ERIC Number: ED246357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Stigma of Counseling: Stereotypes, Interpersonal Reaction, and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Sibicky, Mark; Dovidio, John F.
Stimatizing attitudes and expectations toward mentally ill individuals often lead to their behavioral confirmation. To investigate attitudes and behaviors towards people described as seeking psychological counseling, 136 college students (68 males, 68 females) took part in a mixed-sex dyadic conversation. One dyad member was randomly chosen as the perceiver and the other member as the target. Perceivers received information concerning the client status of the target, and rated their impressions of the target on the Impression Formation Questionnaire (IFQ). After completing the IFQ subjects participated in a 10-minute tape recorded conversation. Following the conversation, targets completed a questionnaire on their impressions of the interaction. The behaviors of the dyad members were rated from the tapes by judges blind to the experimental conditions. An analysis of the results showed that subjects formed more negative initial impressions of "clients" than of "non-clients" and acted more negatively towards them. Furthermore, these perceptions and reactions influenced dyadic interactions in ways that led to their behavioral confirmation. The findings suggest that social interactions should be structured in a manner that will break down stereotypic conceptions, thereby interrupting the behavioral confirmation sequence. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A