Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Cunningham, Michael R.

Author's Keywords

Mental illness; Disclosure; Stigma; Stereotypes; Experiment; Social distance


Stereotypes (Social psychology); Schizophrenics--Social conditions; Mentally ill--Social conditions; Mental illness--Public opinion


The current study examined how Disclosure, Stereotype Disconfirming Information, and Stereotype Disconfirming Information and Disclosure Combined) influences an individual's stigma (stereotype endorsement, emotional reactions, and discrimination) against individuals with Schizophrenia and Depression. The results of this experiment suggest that both Stereotype Disconfirming Information and Disclosure are successful in reducing stereotypes, emotional reactions, and social distance in the context of an interpersonal encounter. Self-disclosure, however, is stronger in increasing Pity and decreasing the desire for Social Distance than Stereotype Disconfirming Information. The combination of Stereotype Disconfirming Information and Disclosure provided the strongest stigma reduction, suggesting that Disclosure can benefit from the addition of Stereotype Disconfirming Information. However, our study also suggests that these strategies may have different effects depending on the disorder in question. The implication of these results and directions for future studies will be discussed.