Predictors and causes of the use of noun-based mental disorder labels.

This research investigated (a) the role of empathy and stigmatizing attitudes in the use of noun labels applied to people with psychological disorders (e.g., John is a schizophrenic), and (b) whether depicted violence increases such usage. In Study 1, undergraduate participants (N = 308) read two mock newspaper stories in counterbalanced order: one depicting a man with schizophrenia committing a nonviolent crime and one depicting a man with schizophrenia committing a highly violent crime. Participants then selected seven headlines for each of the two news stories, in each case choosing between headlines employing either a noun label (e.g., Schizophrenic Snaps) or a person-first label (e.g., Person with Schizophrenia Snaps), following which they completed measures of trait empathy and stigmatizing attitudes. As hypothesized, lower empathy and higher stigmatizing attitudes predicted noun label usage, and violent depictions of a person with schizophrenia increased the use of noun label headlines. In Study 2, with 313 undergraduate participants, we replicated the effect of violence on noun label headline usage and demonstrated that dehumanization mediates this relationship. Several implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)