Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 47 Issue 12 (December 2017), Pages 647-702

Explaining prejudice toward the mentally ill: A test of sociopolitical, demographic, and socioeconomic factors (pages 682-695)


People with mental disorders often face prejudices that can further deteriorate their condition. We tested whether Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right‐Wing Authoritarianism (RWA), and Belief in a Just World (BJW), and characteristics of the mentally ill predict such prejudices. Both in a general population sample and a sample of health professionals and trainees, SDO, but not RWA and BJW, predicted more prejudice, although this pattern was less pronounced among health professionals/trainees. BJW interacted with the targets' gender in Study 1, predicting less empathy toward a male but not toward a female mentally ill person. In Study 2, depressed individuals were blamed more for their illness than those with schizophrenia or cancer. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

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