Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 15 Issue 2 (March/April 2005), Pages 83-152

Social representations of organ donors and non‐donors (pages 108-119)

Abstract

This paper illustrates the empirical investigation of social representations by means of photographs as stimulus material and the technique of correspondence analysis to study the resulting data. The research was part of a campaign carried out to promote organ donation in Malta. The study tries to find out whether a public communication campaign could change perceptions. Five focus groups were held before the campaign and another five, two months after the campaign. Part of the data collected through these focus groups was analysed using correspondence analysis. The results showed that before the campaign, donors were generally perceived to be either young or important people or public personalities. After the campaign, donors were perceived more to be ordinary family people, educated, generous and religious. On the other hand, before the campaign, non‐donors were seen as conservative, uncouth and uncaring, whereas after the campaign non‐donors were generally perceived to be older, uninformed and uneducated people. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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