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  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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POVERTY AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 175-186

Dual Psychological Processes Underlying Public Stigma and the Implications for Reducing Stigma


Illinois State University, USA

Correspondence Address:
Glenn D Reeder
Psychology Department, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.36546

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People with serious illness or disability are often burdened with social stigma that promotes a cycle of poverty via unemployment, inadequate housing and threats to mental health. Stigma may be conceptualized in terms of self-stigma (e.g., shame and lowered self-esteem) or public stigma (e.g., the general public's prejudice towards the stigmatized). This article examines two psychological processes that underlie public stigma: associative processes and rule-based processes. Associative processes are quick and relatively automatic whereas rule-based processes take longer to manifest themselves and involve deliberate thinking. Associative and rule-based thinking require different assessment instruments, follow a different time course and lead to different effects (e.g., stigma-by-association vs attributional processing that results in blame). Of greatest importance is the fact that each process may require a different stigma-prevention strategy.


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