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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Attitudes Towards Persons With Disabilities

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PSYC 3170
Gerry Goldberg

Lecture 4 1 January 24th, 2012 Attitudes Towards Persons With Disabilities - Left handed is not a disability, but is an impairment, like a handicap (scissors made for lefty) - Only 1 function kidney (damaged from cancer etc.) – physical thing that leads to disability - Disability = condition of impairment (physical/mental) that has objective aspect - Handicap = involved an impairment, but also physical/social obstacle preventing individual from reaching their full potential (ex: lefty) - Deviance Amplification: - 1) Physical differences = blindness, deviant from the norm - 2) Isolation of groups = don’t interact with them, they look/act diff from us - 3) More differences evolve - 4) Increasing levels of misconceptions = more isolation of the group / differences Attitudes - Attitudes = thoughts (intellect) + feelings (emotions) + actions (behaviour) Concept of “Spread” - If we know someone with disability, we believe that everything in their life are caused by the disability - We attribute their behaviour to their disability - We don’t hesitate to make judgments regarding a wide riding of characteristics based on their physical disability - Ex: blind person at work is always happy, believe they are happy because they are blind Devices for Overcoming Stereotypes - Educational/motivational appeals o Indexing: people with the same label are different (differences within a category) o Dating: people are constantly changing o Etcetera: no description is ever complete Feelings (sources of negative feeling) - Need to see just world - Reinforced by cultural/parental training o Ex: we blame the people for lung cancer - Isolation uncertainty/anxiety (feel uncomfortable of people with disability) - Reaction to own anxiety (not supposed to feel uncomfortable, we are supposed to be welcoming; which creates more anxiety for us) How to Improve Negative Feelings - Understanding of feelings o Look where the negative feelings are coming from - Exposure to individuals with disabilities o Systematic desensitization interact with people with disabilities Actions - Change rejection to acceptance through social interaction - 1) Fictional acceptance = superficial, limited conversation - 2) Breaking through = - 3) Normalization of Relationship = attributing characteristic to the situation, instead of the disability Lecture 4 2 January 24th, 2012 Changing Behaviour – Modern Multifaceted Approach Traditional Approaches - Laws and organizational rules o Need to reflect community consensus (ex: cant serve alcohol after 10pm, people became rebellious and drank even more) o Require surveillance and control (ex: give rewards and punishments) o Don’t allow freedom of choice (attribute action to the law) - Educational motivational appeals o Ex: TV telling you don’t drink and drive (in media) o Yield short term results (doesn’t work all that well alone) o Compete with other factors in life o Requires other components to have strong/lasting impact - Limit: both “tell” people what to do Present Strategies - Law Based o Attend social consensus - Educational/motivational appeals o Use multifaceted approach: in school, workplace, community o Come from a lot of diff sources/types of media
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