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Title: Stigmatization of Bipolar Disorder: How Framing Mental Illness Affects Perceptions of Personal Responsibility and Blame
Authors: Somers, Allison
Advisors: Woolfolk, Robert
Contributors: Hambrick, Jamie
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Stigma attached to bipolar disorder is significant, though understudied (Ellison et al, 2013). The current study assesses four components of stigma: blame, responsibility, controllability, and social distancing. 185 randomly selected Princeton University undergraduates were randomly assigned to respond to one of eight vignettes depicting a manic individual. In the vignettes, explanation for bipolar disorder was manipulated to reflect either genetic or environmental causes to study the impact of framing on stigma. This manipulation has been applied to social distancing in relation to schizophrenia and depression with mixed results, but not to bipolar disorder. The remaining components of stigma have been used in studying illnesses like AIDS and alcoholism, but not bipolar disorder. The study reflects a 4 x 2 design with four levels of framing for bipolar disorder (genetic explanation, environmental explanation, bipolar label without explanation, noillness control) and two levels of violence (present and non-present). The results indicate that having the label “bipolar” reduced stigmatizing attitudes as the non-labeled control group displayed the greatest stigma. In addition, there was less social distancing and less blame associated with the violent groups across the four framing conditions. These counterintuitive results are discussed in terms of the Social Desirability Bias.
Extent: 62 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2016

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