Social Stigma: The Consequences of Attributional Ambiguity
Jennifer Crocker Principal Investigator
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This research is focused on the effects of social stigma on self concept. The basic idea is that social stigma create a defensive state of interpretive ambiguity on the part of the stigmatized person, and that this ambiguity reduces the positive impact of success, and often undermines motivation to succeed. Thus, programs designed to provide successful experiences for stigmatized persons might, in fact, have paradoxical effects on their self-concepts. The studies undertaken here will provide important information about the manner in which stigma influences people's lives, and, perhaps more importantly, will suggest ways in which inappropriate (mis)interpretations which stigmatized individuals use to defend themselves psychologically can be overcome. The implications of this research for understanding the effects of stigma are very important. Even more important are the implications of the research for understanding the ways in which the effects of stigma might be overcome.