Clinical Psychologists' Perceptions of Persons with Mental Illness
American Psychological Association
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice
Clinical psychologists have an ethical responsibility to monitor the nature and appropriateness of their attitudes toward persons with mental illness. This article presents the results of a survey of randomly selected clinical psychologists who were asked to rate the effectiveness, understandability, safety, worthiness, desirability, and similarity (to the rater) of persons with moderate depression, borderline features, and schizophrenia. The results show that psychologists perceive these individuals differently with respect to these characteristics. The results also suggest that psychologists disidentify or distance themselves from persons with personality and psychotic conditions. Implications for quality improvement and stigma reduction in the field of professional psychology are discussed.