120. Does disease avoidance form a functional basis for stigmatisation towards the elderly?

Harrison, N A, Cooper, E and Critchley, H D (2013) 120. Does disease avoidance form a functional basis for stigmatisation towards the elderly? Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, 32. e35-e35. ISSN 0889-1591

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Abstract

Background: Elderly individuals frequently experience segregation and greater social exclusion. Infected/diseased individuals experience similar isolation-disease avoidance though this typically resolves on recovery. Oaten has proposed that activation of a disease-avoidance system, responding to visible signs denoting disease (irrespective of their accuracy) may underpin stigma. Diseased/sick individuals are perceived as more disgusting suggesting that disgust may mediate this link. To address this we investigated implicit disgust/fear responses to old/young faces using a lexical decision making task. Methods: Thirty healthy participants (20 male, range 19–51 years) performed a speeded word non-word judgement on 240 disgust, fear and neutral words presented after 3-s presentation of a young/old/fearful/disgusted face (240 images taken from validated face databases). Words were subsequently rated for disgust and fear to obtain 120 participant-specific words rated for either disgust or fear for use in subsequent analyses. Results: Congruent disgust words/faces were associated with significant RT slowing. 2 (disgust-neutral/young face) × 2 (disgust neutral word) rmANOVA interaction F(1, 29) = 6.30, p < 0.02. A weak trend to speeded RT responses was observed to congruent fear words/faces F(1, 29) = 1.98, p = 0.17. Critically, old faces preceding disgust (but not fear) words were also associated with significant RT slowing, interaction F(1, 29) = 5.24, p < 0.03. Conclusions: Pictures of elderly faces are associated with implicit disgust responses supporting the proposition that disease avoidance mechanism may underpin stigma toward the elderly.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Volume 32, Supplement
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry > RC0438 Psychiatry
Depositing User: Hazelle Woodhurst
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2014 11:10
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 18:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49480
📧 Request an update