An attributional analysis of emotional reactions to schizophrenia in Mexican and Anglo American cultures

Amy G. Weisman, Steven R. López

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Abstract

The present study uses attribution theory to identify factors that may lead to unfavorable emotional reactions toward patients with schizophrenia and to highlight factors that may contribute to the observed inverse relationship between industrial status of a country and schizophrenia outcome. University students from Mexico and the U.S., 2 countries differing in industrial status, served as participants. Eighty-eight Mexicans from Guadalajara and 88 Anglo Americans from Los Angeles, California read vignettes of a patient described to meet DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia. In one vignette, the patient's disorder was characterized by predominantly positive symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, delusions), whereas in the other vignette negative symptoms (e.g., social withdrawal, apathy) predominated. In support of an attributional approach, negative symptoms were associated with greater perceived control than were positive symptoms. Correspondingly, negative symptoms were found to provoke more intense negative affect and less intense positive affect than were positive symptoms. Some national and gender differences were also found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-244
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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