The authors propose a theoretical model of individual psychological reactions to perceived stigma. This model suggests that 2 psychological systems may be involved in reactions to stigma across a variety of social contexts. One system is primarily reflexive, or associative, whereas the other is rule based, or reflective. This model assumes a temporal pattern of reactions to the stigmatized, such that initial reactions are governed by the reflexive system, whereas subsequent reactions or "adjustments" are governed by the rule-based system. Support for this model was found in 2 studies. Both studies examined participants' moment-by-moment approach-avoidance reactions to the stigmatized. The 1st involved participants' reactions to persons with HIV/AIDS, and the 2nd, participants' reactions to 15 different stigmatizing conditions.
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