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The Effects of Mental Illness Diagnosis and Symptoms on Social Ratings
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Andrew Clapper

Partner: Tara Whittington

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract

The purpose of our study is to test an idea about the cause for the social judgments made about people with mental illnesses, specifically personality disorders.  Research shows that knowing a person's diagnosis or list of symptoms might also affect how someone with a personality disorder is judged.  We wished to test the findings of this research, and to explore both the source of criteria of mental illness and the effects they have one how people are subsequently perceived by others when they are labeled with a mental illness.  Subjects watched a short video and were asked to fill out a questionnaire about a person they saw in the video.  We found no significant main effects for prompt condition or knowing someone with a mental illness.  We did not find an interaction between prompt and knowing someone with a mental illness.  Our findings do not support the findings of previous research studies.  Our study may be improved by using larger, more random groups as well as many different simulations of mental illnesses.   

 

Introduction

The purpose of our study is to test an idea about the cause for the social judgments made about people with mental illnesses, specifically personality disorders.  It is possible that behavior alone affects how mentally ill people are rated.  Research also shows that knowing a person's diagnosis or list of symptoms might also affect how someone with a personality disorder is judged.  Our study will help us determine how these three factors influence the concept of mental illness, and may provide both society and the scientific community with a better understanding of how the idea of mental illness came into existence.  Cultural relativists suggest that cultural norms are the basis of ideas about mental illness.  Evolutionary biologists propose that behavioral criteria are included in the processes of group management and mate selection.  Recent research has found evidence that support these theoretical inferences.  We wish to test the findings of this research, and to explore both the source of criteria of mental illness and the effects they have one how people are subsequently perceived by others when they are labeled with a mental illness. 

A long standing controversy exists over definitions of abnormal behavior and why they exist (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2007).  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the most widely accepted standard document of such definitions (APA, 2000).  Even though it is often taken for granted as the best standard for mental disorders, there still exist many possible areas of improvement for the document.  Thomas Szasz introduced the possibility that the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings associated with mental illness may not necessarily be an illness after all (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2007).  Szasz is one of several cultural relativists that suggest behaviors are only abnormal according to cultural norms.  Szasz makes the scientific community at least consider that mental illness is in fact a myth, or perhaps at least that the term illness is a misnomer.  It is possible that the labels assigned to abnormal behavior exist as systematic controls ingrained by genetics and culture (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2007). 

Because genetics often appear to be at least partially responsible for human behavior (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2007), an understanding of evolution might allow us to ascertain how humans regulate what is considered abnormal behavior within specific groups.  A group is defined as more than two of the same species that live within close proximity to each other and interact on a regular basis.  The human neocortex may impose a limit on the number of people it allows us to consider as part of our group (Dunbar, 1992).  If this is true, when the number of friends we have exceeds this limit, we will be forced to choose who we keep as members of our group, and who is rejected.  Therefore, inclusion and ostracism are important selection factors on human evolution, because being rejected by your group will increase the likelihood that you will not pass on your genes (Dawkins, 1989).  In fact, the imperative to pass on one's genes is so strong, that Richard Dawkins (1989) proposed that one can understand evolution better by viewing the genes themselves as self interested agents when it comes to behavior.  It then follows that being included and even favored by your group will increase the likelihood that you will have offspring (Starr, 2006).

The field of psychology has also contributed data to the idea that humans exist as social animals (Baumeister & Leary, 1995).  Humans show a need to belong to a group, and to have frequent interactions with the group (Baumeister & Leary, 1995).  According to Baumeister and Leary (1995), evidence has accumulated over decades that the need to belong is a fundamental motive for human behavior.  Not only do social isolation and labels allow society to marginalize or categorize people with perceived mental illness, but research suggests isolation on the individual level may in fact lead or contribute to some symptoms of mental illness (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). 

Mate selection is often cited as a form of natural selection in evolution, and it is possible that behavior is at least one criteria of mate selection in humans (Starr, 2006).  If personality disorders are defined by undesirable behavior, perhaps they give name to an instinctive motivation to regulate abnormal behavior (Baumeister & Leary, 1995).  If this is true, the closest thing society has to describe the conditions that have materialized to convey this motivation to regulate abnormal behavior is the DSM (APA, 2000).  Likewise, since we wish to focus on the area of personality disorders, it is relevant to define them here.  According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), a personality disorder is an enduring pattern of experience and behavior that differs greatly from the expectations of the individual's culture.  A long term pattern of inner experience and behavior must form a pattern in at least two of the four mentioned areas.  The four areas are cognition, affectivity, interpersonal functioning, and impulse control.  The pattern of inner experience and behavior should be relatively inflexible, and should exist along a broad range of personal and social situations.  The pattern leads to distress or impairment in social areas of functioning.  Its onset can be traced back to adolescence or early childhood.  It is not better explained as a manifestation or consequence of another mental disorder.  Also, it can not be the result of a substance or general medical condition (APA, 2000). 

Now that background and parameters have been defined for our study, we wish to mention how the ideas thus far presented have been tested in recent research.  Angermeyer and Matschinger (1997) found that Germans reject alcoholics more than they reject people who are diagnosed with a mental illness such as schizophrenia. However, when the subject had a close relationship with a mentally ill person, he or she showed a less negative judgment of the mentally ill overall.

Brockelman et al. (2002) found that the amount of social distance a given person wishes to place between his or herself and someone with a mental illness depends on whether or not the original person knew someone with a mental illness.  It was found that those who knew someone who had a mental illness tended to not mind being in close proximity with a person with mental illness. However, those who did not know someone with a mental illness were more likely to become socially close with a newly introduced person if they were given the name of the mental illness than if they were given a detailed description of the illness (Brockelman et al. 2002). These findings are consistent with the Angermeyer and Matschinger (1997) study on the feelings of individuals who know someone with a mental illness.

            Litzcke (2006) used a movie clip in place of a written description of a mentally ill patient to test if social perceptions of mental patients were dependent on whether or not the subject giving feedback for those perceptions was a police officer.  It was found that police officers wanted to be more distant from the mentally ill than from healthy people (Litzcke 2006).  The study provided evidence that research done with only a written description caused subjects to underreport a social bias against the mentally ill.  These findings suggest the need for the use of a video of abnormal behavior, rather than a written description, in order to obtain a more accurate measurement of social acceptance and rejection. 

We wish to test whether or not the criteria set forth by the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2000) for personality disorders coincides with evaluations of behavior and personality.  In a controlled environment, we may be able to observe how people respond to DSM IV-TR standards of abnormality.  We can have subjects watch a video of a single person interacting with the people around him or her, and then have the subjects rate the person observed in the video in terms of personality characteristics.  We can also ask the subjects if the person in the video is judged favorably as a possible friend.  We propose that behavior consistent with the APA definition of personality disorder will result in a less favorable view of the person displaying the behavior.  Also, people that appear to have the symptoms of a personality disorder are less likely to be viewed as a suitable mate or companion.  Stronger apparent symptoms of personality disorder will result in stronger rejection.

We predict that there will be a main effect for prompt, with no prompt resulting in the highest social ratings, followed by the diagnosis condition and the list of symptoms, based upon the evidence found by Brockelman (2002).  We also propose that we will find a main effect for knowing someone with a mental illness, with those knowing someone giving higher social ratings than those who do not know an individual with a mental illness.  It is also predicted that there will be an interaction between the prompt condition and knowing someone with a mental illness, because the effect of knowing someone with a mental illness will depend on the prompt condition.  Those who know someone with a mental illness will not have a strong change between the prompt conditions, while those who do not know someone with a mental illness will have a stronger change in social ratings between the prompt conditions.

 

Method

The participants included 30 subjects.  Students enrolled in the Laboratory Research in Psychology class for the spring 2007 semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were subjects.  The subjects signed up for an experiment session of their choosing prior to the days that the experiment was held.  Our sample included 27 Caucasians and 3 people of Asian descent.  All subjects were psychology majors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The age of the subjects varied, with the majority of subjects being from 20 to 22 years old.  Also, the majority of subjects were female.  The subjects reported to room 110 of Davie Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to participate in the study during their scheduled experiment time.  Our materials included the main computer in room 110 of Davie Hall, which was used to project the experiment video.  The projector and projector screen were used to project the video with.  The original plan for the study was to have the subjects use his or her individual computer with headphones to complete the study, but the computers lacked the necessary software to be able to play the video.  The other materials for the study included writing utensils, consent forms (See Appendix Part A), questionnaire packets (See Appendix Part B), and debriefing sheets (See Appendix Part E). 

At the beginning of our study, the participants were already seated in a seat of choice.  We greeted the subjects and told them that they would watch a short video and be asked to fill out a questionnaire about a person they saw in the video.  This was the only information the subjects were given about the study beforehand.  Next, two copies of the consent form (See Appendix Part A) were given to each subject, and the subjects were asked to read the form.  They were also asked to sign and date the form once they agreed with the statements on the form.  One copy was collected from each subject for our records, and the subjects were allowed to keep a copy for themselves. 

Once a signed and dated consent form was collected from each subject, we gave each subject his or her questionnaire packet.  The packets were arranged beforehand in ascending order according to condition.  The first packet contained the no prompt condition (See Appendix Part B), the second contained the diagnosis condition (See Appendix Part C), the third contained the symptoms condition (See Appendix Part D), and after the third packet we would return to the first condition, and so on.  A total of 21 packets were ready for each group of 15 subjects, and they were arranged according to this pattern.  Before the packets were handed out, we flipped over the stack of questionnaires and moved a random number of packets to the back of the stack, so that we did not know which condition we started with when we handed out the questionnaires.  Once all of the subjects had a questionnaire, they were asked to fill out the first page of the packet and stop.  The first page of the packet included demographic information for each subject (See Appendix Part A). 

After all of the subjects were finished filling out demographic information, we played the video on the main projector for all subjects to watch (Anonymous, 2007).  During the first trial of the study, the main speakers in the classroom did not function, so we pointed out the narrator of the video whenever he appeared.  We emphasized that the narrator was the person the subjects should pay attention to. 

Once the video was completed, the subjects were told to flip to the second page of the questionnaire (See Appendix Part A).  They were asked to read the entire second page of the packet, since it included the prompt conditions if there was a prompt, but to ignore the instructions to open the video file.  The subjects were also told to complete the questionnaire through the end of the packet when they finished reading the second page, and to raise ones hand when the subjects were finished.  The third page of the questionnaire asked the subjects five questions about the narrator, and they were able to circle one answer on an eleven point scale from -5 to 5.  The questions asked how likable the narrator is, how likely the subject is to spend free time with the narrator, how many friends the narrator probably has, how similar the narrator is to the subject, and how attractive the narrator is.  Although attractiveness was not a part of what we were testing, we included a question about it in order to be able to determine if attractiveness mediated the relationship between prompt and ratings, as well as the relationship between knowing someone with a mental illness and ratings (See Appendix Part A). 

After each subject completed his or her questionnaire, the questionnaire was collected and he or she was given a debriefing sheet (See Appendix Part E).  Once all of the questionnaires were completed, the subjects were told that the purpose of our study was to examine the effects of diagnosis and symptoms on social ratings.  They were told that the content of the video was not especially important, so long as they all watched the same video and the video included a living person.  We informed them that each subject received no prompt, a diagnosis, or a list of symptoms for a mental illness.  We also told them that they were asked if they knew someone with a mental illness so that we could determine if social ratings depend on knowing someone with a mental illness.  The debriefing sheet included assurances of the confidentiality of the questionnaires, as well as our contact information in case the subjects had questions or concerns (See Appendix Part E).  After the subjects were given this information, we thanked them and left the room with our collected material. 

To begin the analysis of collected data, we first assigned each questionnaire a subject number in case it was needed as a reference later.  Next, we recorded numeric and string data in a spreadsheet as appropriate.  For example, the subjects major, gender, and response to the final question were recorded as string data.  All other data was recorded as numeric.  After the data was recorded, we took the social ratings responses for each questionnaire and averaged them together to get an average social rating.  We used a data analysis program to find the descriptive statistics of the social ratings for us.  We also performed several one way ANOVAs, with the prompt condition as the independent variable, and the individual social ratings and average social ratings as the dependent variable. 

 

Results

No main effect of prompt condition (p = NS) was observed.  Also, no main effect of knowing someone with a mental illness was observed (p = NS).  No interaction between prompt condition and knowing someone with a mental illness was found (p = NS).  No prompt showed the highest mean average social rating (m = .48), followed by symptoms (m = .32) and diagnosis (m = -.2) (See Table 1).

 

Discussion

The hypothesis that a main effect of prompt condition would be observed was not supported because individuals who were shown different prompt conditions did not give significantly different social ratings.  Also, the hypothesis that a main effect of knowing someone with a mental illness would be found was not supported because individuals who knew someone with a mental illness did not give significantly different social ratings compared to those who did not know someone with a mental illness.  The hypothesis that there would be an interaction between prompt condition and knowing someone with a mental illness was not supported, since the relationship between prompt and social ratings did not depend on knowing someone with a mental illness. 

Our results call into question the claim that mental illness is strictly a social construct, and that labeling people mentally ill has a significant result on their social standing, since we didn't find significant differences between social ratings given to someone with different prompts.  Our study may lead to the possibility that abnormal behavior itself is the most important factor in social standing.  Although we did not gather evidence to support this claim, we helped eliminate one of the other possibilities.  Our findings do not allow us to effectively evaluate the biological drive to eliminate abnormal individuals from social groups because we did not see a significant tendency to do so.  The study does call into question the standards of mental illness used by the American Psychiatric Association, because our subjects did not appear to judge the narrator of the video to be socially impaired as a result of his diagnosis and symptoms.  Our study does not support the findings of Angermeyer and Matschinger (1997).  They found that people diagnosed with a mental disorder were judged less negatively by those who knew someone with a mental illness, whereas we did not see a significant difference in social ratings between those who knew someone with a mental illness and those who did not.  However, it should be noted that although we did not find a significant difference in social ratings between those who knew someone with a mental illness and those who did not, we only had two out of thirty subjects say that they did not know someone with a mental illness, so our groups are likely too small to allow us to conclusively evaluate the difference.  The results of our study suggest that the fact that we used a no prompt condition as a control group did not improve upon the study done by Brockelman et al. (2002), since we did not find a significant difference between the no prompt group and the other groups.  Our results also suggest that viewing a person with abnormal behavior, and not necessarily a mental illness, has an effect upon how social groups will view the individual, since we did not find a significant change in social ratings when subjects were given information about the individual.  Our study does not support the findings of Litzcke (2006), because using a video did not appear to prevent people from underreporting a social bias against the mentally ill. 

A number of improvements may help the study yield higher quality data to be analyzed.  A larger number of social ratings questions may result in more consistent trends in the data, although subject fatigue might then become a risk.  Also, the study can be improved by using different sampling methods.  For example, this study used an ad hoc sample of psychology students at one particular school, and in order to be able to generalize to the rest of the human population, either a more random sample should be obtained or it should be demonstrated that the ad hoc sample does not differ from the general population with respect to social ratings towards the mentally ill.  It may also be case that the study needs a larger sample in order to yield a normal distribution of data.  If the study is done completely on individual computers, diffusion may be prevented, since the subjects will no longer have the opportunity to talk to each other during the video.  Also, the individual computers would be able to assign the subjects to different groups randomly, which would prevent experimenter bias in group assignment and experimenter behavior.  The study might also be improved if subjects are asked how close they are to the person they know with a mental illness that is closest to them, or perhaps if they are asked how many people they know with a mental illness.

Several possibilities exist for future exploration of research social ratings and mental illness.  The number of groups could be expanded in order to test for many different kinds of mental disorders.  Several different videos could be used, including videos of different disorders as well as videos of different levels of normal and abnormal behavior.  Also, instead of using videos of simulated abnormal behavior, videos of actual diagnosed individuals may result in more accurate measurements of social ratings.  Likewise, accuracy may be further improved if the subjects of the study actually meet the person that they are going to give social ratings for.  One way of managing this format would be to have the subjects divided up into small groups, and when they are given sheets of paper with instructions, one of the group members could be instructed to act in an abnormal way.  Next, the group will be asked to perform a series of simple tasks that require social interaction.  At the end of the session, the subjects would be told that they have one more task to complete, and given an opportunity to vote one of the group members out of the group.  We would then be able to evaluate if the abnormal behavior had an effect on likelihood of being voted out of a group.  An alternative to this method would be to have either a confederate or a diagnosed person be the one evaluated.  Also, instead of evaluating the likelihood of a person being voted out of a group, social ratings for group members could be measured and analyzed to see if the abnormal behavior resulted in significant differences.  

 

References

American Psychiatric Association.  (2000).  Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., Text Revision).  Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 

 

Angermeyer, M. C. & Matschinger, H. (1997). Social distance towards the mentally ill: Results of representative surveys in the Federal Republic of Germany. Psychological Medicine, 27, 131-141.

 

Anonymous.  (2007).  Arin's Day 1.  The Sundance Channel.  Retrieved March 7, 2007,from Youtube Web site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5OxcwyY570

 

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995).  The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation.  Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497-529.

 

Brockelman, K. F., Olney, M. F., & Williams, S. S. (2002). Social distance in response to psychiatric labels. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 25(4), 253-259.

 

Dawkins, R.  (1989) The Selfish Gene.  30th anniversary edition, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1-45.

 

Dunbar, R.I.M. (1992) Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates.  Journal of Human Evolution 22, 469-493.  

 

Litzcke, S. M. (2006). Attitudes and emotions of German police officers towards the mentally ill. International Journal of Police Science and Management, 8(2), 119-132.

 

Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan. (2007). Abnormal Psychology.  4th edition, McGraw Hill, New York, NY, 5-11

 

Starr, Cecie.  (2006) Biology: Concepts and Applications.  Sixth Edition, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA, 238-257, 780-794.   

 

 

Appendix Part A: Consent Form

Consent Form:

 

 

            I agree to participate in the experiment that has just been described to me. The experiment involves viewing a video of a person and answering a short questionnaire afterwards. I have been asked to serve for approximately 10 minutes and in return I will receive course credit in Psyc 270. I understand that I am free to leave the experiment at any time without penalty. I also understand that all data will be reported in aggregate form and that individual participants will not be identified. My identity will remain confidential- known only to the experimenters. I understand that I can ask questions at any time. If I have any questions after the experiment, I can contact the experimenter, the class instructor Becky Klatzkin (966-2547) or Professor Gordon Pitz (962-1405).

 

 

________________________________

 

Participant Signature

 

________________________________

 

Andrew Clapper

 

________________________________

 

Tara Whittington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date

 

 

Appendix Part B: Questionnaire with No Prompt

 

Demographics

 

It is helpful to us to know something about the kinds of people who are participating in our research.  Please complete the following demographics questions.  We remind you that all of your responses to the survey today are anonymous and confidential.

 

 

How old are you? ___________

 

 

Are you male or female? ______________

 

 

 

What is your racial/ethnic group?

Caucasian/White                                   African-American/Black

Latino/Hispanic                                     Asian/Asian-American

Native American                                   Other: ____________________________

 

 

 

What is your year in school?                 1          2          3          4          5+

 

 

What is your major/intended major?      _________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions

 

Please sign into your computer with your section's name and password if you have not already done so. 

 

Please place the headphones in your cubicle on your ears, and make sure that the sound is active on your computer.

 

Next, access the P drive of the computer and go to Section 1, then Students, then Andrew Clapper.  Double click on the file link.doc. 

 

In Microsoft Word, hold down the left mouse button and drag it across the text in order to highlight the link.  Next, right click on the highlighted area, and left click on the copy command.

 

Open Internet Explorer.  Highlight the text that is in the address bar, then right click on it. 

 

Left click on the Paste command.   Next, press the Enter button. 

 

Please watch the video that will begin to play.   When the video is finished, proceed to the next section. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please turn to the next page. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please answer the following questions as accurately as you can.  Circle one answer on the scale provided. 

 

How likable is the narrator of the video?

 

-5         -4           -3           -2            -1            0          1            2            3             4             5

 

Very unlikable                                                                                                    Very likable

 

 

If the narrator wanted to spend some free time with you, how likely are you to say yes?

 

 

-5         -4           -3           -2            -1            0          1            2            3             4             5

 

Very unlikely                                                                                                       Very likely

 

 

How many friends does the narrator probably have?

 

-5         -4           -3           -2            -1            0          1            2            3             4             5

 

Very few                                                                                                              Very many

 

 

How similar is the narrator to you?

 

-5         -4           -3           -2            -1            0          1            2            3             4             5

 

Very dissimilar                                                                                                   Very similar

 

 

How attractive is the narrator?

 

-5         -4           -3           -2            -1            0          1            2            3             4             5

 

Very unattractive                                                                                          Very attractive

 

 

A mental illness, as defined in psychiatry and other mental health professions, is an abnormal mental condition or disorder expressing symptoms that cause significant distress and/or dysfunction.  Mental illness can include disorders such as general anxiety disorder and clinical depression.  Do you know someone with a mental illness?  Please circle one answer.                         Yes           No

 

 

Appendix Part C: Page Two of the Diagnosis Prompt Condition

 

Instructions

 

Please sign into your computer with your section's name and password if you have not already done so. 

 

Please place the headphones in your cubicle on your ears, and make sure that the sound is active on your computer.

 

Next, access the P drive of the computer and go to Section 1, then Students, then Andrew Clapper.  Double click on the file link.doc. 

 

In Microsoft Word, hold down the left mouse button and drag it across the text in order to highlight the link.  Next, right click on the highlighted area, and left click on the copy command.

 

Open Internet Explorer.  Highlight the text that is in the address bar, then right click on it. 

 

Left click on the Paste command.   Next, press the Enter button. 

 

Please watch the video that will begin to play.   When the video is finished, proceed to the next section. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After The Video 

 

Please note that the narrator of the video has been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder by a licensed psychiatrist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please turn to the next page. 

 

Appendix Part D: Page Two of the Symptoms Condition

 

Instructions

 

Please sign into your computer with your section's name and password if you have not already done so. 

 

Please place the headphones in your cubicle on your ears, and make sure that the sound is active on your computer.

 

Next, access the P drive of the computer and go to Section 1, then Students, then Andrew Clapper.  Double click on the file link.doc. 

 

In Microsoft Word, hold down the left mouse button and drag it across the text in order to highlight the link.  Next, right click on the highlighted area, and left click on the copy command.

 

Open Internet Explorer.  Highlight the text that is in the address bar, then right click on it. 

 

Left click on the Paste command.   Next, press the Enter button. 

 

Please watch the video that will begin to play.   When the video is finished, proceed to the next section. 

 

 

After The Video

 

The narrator of the video has been diagnosed with a mental disorder with at least three of the following symptoms by a licensed psychiatrist:

 

  1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
  2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
  3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
  4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
  5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others
  6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations
  7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

 

 

Please turn to the next page. 

Appendix Part E: Debriefing Sheet

 

Debriefing

 

The purpose of our study is to determine a possible cause for the social judgments made about people with mental illnesses, specifically personality disorders.  It is possible that behavior alone affects how mentally ill people are rated.  Research also shows that knowing a person's diagnosis or list of symptoms might also affect how someone with a personality disorder is judged.  Our study will help us determine how these three factors influence the concept of mental illness, and will provide both society and the scientific community with a better understanding of how the idea of mental illness came into existence. 

 

You will only be identified by an identification number and we will only use it for compiling the results. Your identification number will not be associated with your name. Your identification will not appear in the final report and will not be shared with anyone.

 

You were shown a video of an individual with a possible mental illness and there may be a risk that you feel uncomfortable. We believe that these risks are very mild when compared with what can be gained from the experiment. If you feel discomfort, we can give you information in order to help you seek counseling from a professional.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of us with the email addresses provided below. 

 

Andrew Clapper: socrates8181@aol.com

Tara Whittington: etwhitti@email.unc.edu

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