Prejudice

Common mental illness stereotypes: violent, unpredictable, unreliable, incompetent, weak character

Inaccurate & Damaging Mental Illness Stereotypes

Stereotypes are a way that we store knowledge about social categories. When a category is considered by society to be deviant, such as the group of people who are mentally ill, members of that category tend to be viewed as a homogeneous group that is accurately represented by stereotypes. There may be a grain of …

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Diagram of socially acceptable identities and deviant identities

Racism, Prejudice, and Implicit/Explicit Beliefs

Last week I reviewed White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. There were some important concepts that she alluded to but didn’t clearly explain, so I decided to do a post, from a social constructionist viewpoint, about how stereotypes and prejudice develop, and why the difference between implicit and explicit beliefs is important. Our societies create categories …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: White Fragility

Book Review: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, whose background is education and who is white herself, looks at racism and why she believes white people don’t want to talk about it. I went into the book knowing that it was popular but having doubts about the effectiveness of the title at accomplishing the intended effect. White fragility …

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Is Being Politically Correct Helpful or Ineffective?

The push to be politically correct drives some people crazy, while others think that being careful about language is necessary to keep from causing offence. There are all kinds of people out there being intentionally offensive (just look at Twitter), but to what extent should we as a society go hunting for it when it’s …

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Homelessness & Addiction: A Newspaper Embraces Stigma

Last year I wrote about a police wellness check gone wrong, in which a young woman was dragged half-naked in handcuffs through her building by a police officer. While the woman was apprehended under the Mental Health Act, a story about the matter in the Kelowna Daily Courier used the word “arrested” multiple times, including …

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Why Are Only Some Differences Socially Significant?

As human beings, each of us is more alike than we are different. In fact, we all share 99.9% of the same genes, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Despite all of this sameness, we pay a lot of attention to differences… but only some differences are socially significant. The rest, we don’t …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Moralization: When Preferences Become Values

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is moralization. The term moralization was introduced by psychologist Paul Rozin in the late 1990s to describe the process by which people’s preferences are transformed into values. Rozin’s research looked at how, for some people, vegetarianism had become …

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Just a psych patient? Mental illness stigma in the ER

Just a Psych Patient? Stigma in the ER

People with mental illness can come up against stigmatized attitudes within mental health care, but having a mental illness diagnosis can also make it difficult to access appropriate care for physical health issues. A recent CBC News story provides an example of a man whose physical issues were written off because he was just a …

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Mental illness stigma and the problem with language policing

The Problem with Language Policing

Patrick Corrigan has been an academic crush for a number of years now. And what is an academic crush, you might ask? I like how his mind works. He’s a psychologist and stigma researcher, with lived experience to boot. He’s one of the most prolific publishers in academic journals that I’ve ever come across. His …

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What Is… the Euphemism Treadmill

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is the euphemism treadmill. Psychologist and linguist Stephen Pinker coined the term euphemism treadmill in a 1994 article in the New York Times. It refers to a process by which words that are used as a euphemism for …

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