Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Ross Norman


Effective interventions are much needed to reduce stigma against those with mental illness. Two experimental studies were conducted to examine the effectiveness of value-based reasoning interventions in reducing mental illness stigma, and the extent to which relationships between values and social distance are mediated by attitudes and subjective norms. In study 1, writing about reasons related to values was found ineffective in influencing responses to a hypothetical person with schizophrenia. In study 2, there was some evidence suggesting that considering why self-transcendence values are more important than self-enhancement values led to more positive attitudes towards behaviors reflecting less social distance toward the person. In both studies, priorities placed on self-transcendence and self-enhancement values were found related to social distance, and this relationship was mediated by attitudes towards behaviors. These findings provided the first evidence regarding the mechanisms by which values influence behavioral intentions in the context of mental illness stigma.