Testing the Model of Stigma Communication with a Factorial Experiment in an Interpersonal Context

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Abstract

Stigmas may regulate intergroup relationships; they may also influence interpersonal actions. This study extends the previous test of the model of stigma communication (MSC; Smith, 2012) with a factorial experiment in which the outcomes refer to a hypothetical acquaintance. New affective reactions, sympathy and frustration, and a new personality trait, disgust sensitivity, were explored. In addition, perceived severity and susceptibility of the infection were included as alternative mechanisms explaining the effects. The results (N = 318) showed that message content, message reactions (emotional and cognitive), and disgust sensitivity predicted intentions to regulate the infected acquaintance's interactions and lifestyle (R 2 =.79) and participants' likelihood of telling others about the acquaintance's infection (R 2 =.35). The findings generally provided support for MSC and directions for improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-173
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Studies
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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