Biopsychology Majors Publish Research in Stigma and Health Journal

(LEBANON, Ill., May 21, 2020) — Two McKendree University students have had a research article entitled “Dehumanization of Mental Illness and the Stereotype Content Model” accepted for publication. The article will be in the forthcoming American Psychological Association Journal Stigma and Health, which “serves as a venue for articles examining research representing stigma in its various guises as it impacts people living with mental and physical illness.”

Biopsychology majors Rebecca Chicosky, a recent 2020 graduate, and Erin Delmore, a senior at McKendree, conducted the research and co-wrote the article with Dr. Guy A. Boysen, professor of psychology. They tested the theory that perceptions of individuals with mental illness as lacking warmth and competence leads to perceptions of them as less than fully human. Across five separate studies, the researchers showed that dehumanization of people with mental illness is correlated to perceptions of warmth and competence. However, disorders that people view as having dramatically different levels of warmth and competence are often dehumanized to a similar degree.