Sympathy, Self‐Consciousness, and Reactions to the Stigmatized

Michael F. Scheier, Charles S. Carver, Richard Schulz, David C. Glass, Irwin Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Reactions toward the stigmatized were studied in two experiments. Subjects in both studies evaluated a target person on the basis of personal information contained in a transcript of a bogus interview. The target person was portrayed in either a favorable or an unfavorable manner and either was or was not a member of a stigmatized group. In Experiment I the target person was evaluated more positively when he was described as being old (75 years of age) than when he was described as being young (23 years of age). In Experiment II subjects evaluated a handicapped target more favorably than a nonstigmatized target. This “sympathy” effect was strongest among persons high in private self‐consciousness (disposition to attend to one's thoughts, feelings, and motives). The methodological and practical implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-282
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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