Journal article

Biogenetic Explanations of Mental Disorder: The Mixed-Blessings Model

Nick Haslam, Erlend P Kvaale

CURRENT DIRECTIONS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2015

Abstract

Biogenetic explanations of mental disorder are increasingly prominent. However, they have decidedly mixed implications for how affected persons are perceived. We review evidence of these mixed blessings from three perspectives: how people with mental disorders are viewed by the public, by themselves, and by clinicians. Although biogenetic explanations may soften public stigma by diminishing blame, they increase it by inducing pessimism, avoidance, and the belief that affected people are dangerous and unpredictable. These explanations may also induce pessimism and helplessness among affected people and reduce the empathy their treating clinicians feel for them. We interpret these findings in ..

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