Reducing explicit and implicit mental illness stigma through perspective taking
Research indicates that perspective taking reduces stigma towards many groups. Perspective taking and mental illness stigma have not been examined. Research investigating other areas of mental illness stigma employed primarily explicit measures of attitudes. The current study collected data from 124 participants to determine if perspective taking reduces explicit and implicit mental illness stigma. It was predicted that perspective taking would lower stigmatizing attitudes. No significant differences in stigmatizing attitudes were found between conditions on the implicit measure and most of the explicit measures. There was a marginally significant difference between groups for social distance. Unexpectedly, those in the perspective taking condition had higher levels of stigma. The effectiveness of perspective taking in reducing mental illness stigma was not confirmed.