This paper tests Scheff's proposition that selective media reporting has a reinforcing effect on the stereotype of mental illness.
Based on several population surveys carried out in the « old » Federal Republic of Germany it can be shown that in 1990 there was a marked increase in desired social distance from mentally ill people immediately following violent attacks, by two individuals suffering from schizophrenia, against prominent German politicians.
Both events were widely covered in the media.
During the following two years expressed social distance decreased slowly.
At the close of 1992, however, it was still elevated when compared with the situation in early 1990 before the first assassination attempt had occurred.
There was a corresponding trend in the tendency of the public to ascribe the attributes « dangerous » and « unpredictable » to psychiatric patients.
Thus, our findings do support Scheff's contention that selective reporting does indeed have an impact on the attitudes of the public as it confirms the stereotype of insanity, which has important implications for public policy issues.
Mots-clés Pascal : Schizophrénie, Psychose, Perception sociale, Attitude, Communauté, Allemagne, Europe, Interaction sociale, Stéréotype, Antécédent, Violence, Agressivité, Mass media, Transmission information, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Social perception, Attitude, Community, Germany, Europe, Social interaction, Stereotype, Antecedent, Violence, Aggressiveness, Mass media, Information transmission, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0058565
Code Inist : 002B18H02. Création : 21/05/1997.