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April 16, 2012

Pics in Report Show Stereotypes

A report discovered that many people hold negative viewpoints when looking at pictures of people with mental challenges.  Participants in the report had to decide whether people appeared affectionate or stupid.  These findings were documented in the journal PLoS ONE.

Participants in the report showed support for kids with mental challenges.  However, as a person’s facial characters showed more of a mental challenge judgment grew.  Pictures of the people with the mental challenges were flashed before participants and they had to make their decision quickly.
“Research into the social perception of intellectually disabled persons has been largely one-sided, focusing predominantly on thoughts and feelings, which may be distorted by social desirability concerns. In the current research, we found evidence of subtle forms of prejudice toward children with special needs at both the explicit and implicit levels,” report authors wrote.

Personal assistants had a more positive outlook on people with mental challenges in the report.  This could mean that working with this population is beneficial according to study authors.  This report was completed in France and included 55 participants.

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