The general public harbors misconceptions about mental illnesses; particularly, auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs). Misconceptions about the causes, dangerousness, and treatment of mental illnesses constitute barriers for treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine whether a neurobiological refutation text was more effective than a neurobiological expository text in changing knowledge and attitudes concerning AVHs. A MANOVA determined that the refutation text was not statistically different than the expository text in changing knowledge of AVHs [F(2, 95) = 0.982, p = 0.428]. Another MANOVA determined that the refutation text was not statistically different than the expository text in changing attitudes towards a person in a vignette with severe AVHs [F(2, 95) = 2.553, p = 0.083]. A bimodal distribution was observed in participants’ level of contact with persons with severe mental illness. Supplemental analyses indicated that participants who read the expository text and reported high levels of contact endorsed significantly lower levels of social distancing behaviors towards the person in a vignette [t(47) = 1.983, p = .053, d =.57]. Participants who read the refutation text and reported low levels of contact attributed significantly less attitudes of fear and anger [t(41) = 2.664, p = .011, d =.82], and endorsed significantly lower levels of social distancing behaviors [t(41) = 2.829, p = .007, d =.87]. A refutation text may be more effective than an expository text in changing attitudes concerning AVHs, when a participant’s misconceptions of persons with severe mental illness are formed through observations and various forms of media.
|Commitee:||Brobst, Karen, Craven III, John A.|
|Department:||Psychological and Educational Services|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Clinical psychology, Science education|
|Keywords:||Auditory verbal hallucinations, Conceptual change, Mental health, Refutation, Science text, Stigma|
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