Abstract

People with creative abilities have often been stereotyped as insane, neurotic, and prone to addiction (Kaufman, Bromley, & Cole, 2006; Corrigan, 2005). These labels have perpetuated the stigma for many generations (Ludwig, 1995). In addition, females have often been stereotyped as "bad at math," but are assumed to be more verbal and creative (Quinn & Spencer, 2001). The present study hypothesized that creative writers would be stereotyped as more mentally ill, neurotic, and addicted to substances compared to scientists. It was also predicted that gender would exacerbate the phenomenon such that females would be particularly vulnerable to this stereotype. Statistical analyses revealed some interesting gender by major interactions: female creative writers were perceived as the most mentally ill, but were closely followed by male science majors. Male creative writers were actually perceived to have a relatively low level of mental illness. Interestingly, male scientists were rated as having the highest levels of drug and alcohol abuse, whereas male creative writers were perceived to have relatively fewer symptoms of substance abuse. The reverse pattern was true for females. This research confirmed the stereotype of insanity among artists for females but also revealed a tendency towards pathology-based stereotyping of male scientists. Stereotypes negatively affect the targeted populations and perpetuate the stigmas against them. This research attempted to advance understanding as an initial step towards alleviating unwarranted stereotypes.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2013

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Whitten, Shannon

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Degree Program

Psychology

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Location

UCF Palm Bay

Format

PDF

Identifier

CFH0004384

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Psychology Commons

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