Beliefs about cancer, heart disease, and their victims.

  • Sloan R
  • Gruman J
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Abstract

Tested the just-world hypothesis, which suggests that as the severity of illness increases, the victim should receive increasing derogation by others. 73 undergraduates were presented 1 of 2 stimulus stories depicting a person who suffered either from a heart attack or stomach cancer. After reading the stories, Ss rated the attractiveness of the stimulus person. They also answered questions designed to probe their beliefs about these 2 health conditions. As predicted and contrary to the just-world hypothesis, victims of conditions seen to be unpreventable received less derogation than victims of preventable ones. Moreover, it was discovered that relative to heart attacks, stomach cancer was seen as less preventable, less well understood, and less effectively treated both by medical and individual means. Results may support the defensive attribution theory. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Attitudes
  • *Heart Disorders
  • *Interpersonal Attraction
  • *Neoplasms
  • Medical Treatment (General)
  • Predisposition
  • Prevention

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Authors

  • Richard P Sloan

  • Jessie C Gruman

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