Date of Thesis

2011

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

T. Joel Wade

Keywords

Stigmatization, Bias, Learning Disability, Perception

Abstract

Those with learning disabilities (LDs) can be characterized as a minority group, and like most groups of minorities they face a distinct stigma by the larger population. While there iscurrently a lack of research in understanding LD stigma, it has become increasingly important given the push for inclusive classrooms settings. In this study it was hypothesized that regardlessof a participants’ gender, when participants were given a hypothetical description of a person that included information indicating that the individual has a LD, the participants would rate that individual less favorably. Results were consistent with the hypothesis. Participants perceived the hypothetical LD individual as being less attractive, less successful, less emotionally stable,and more open to new experiences when compared to those participants who were given the non-LD description. These results show a level of negative bias in our population towards those with LDs. It is hoped that this research will help address the goal of inclusion and equality for those with LDs and aid in finding ways to identify, address, and attenuate these stigmatizations within all aspects of our society.

Comments

PUBLIC

Included in

Psychology Commons

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