Dehumanizing but competent

the impact of gender, illness type, and emotional expressiveness on patient perceptions of doctors

Samantha M. Adams*, Trevor I. Case, Julie Fitness, Richard J. Stevenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study is the first attempt to investigate men's and women's anticipated reactions to a consultation with a doctor holding either a dehumanizing or humanistic approach to patient treatment. Participants (N = 375) read a vignette depicting a doctor's treatment philosophy—emphasizing either the metaphor of the body as a machine (dehumanizing condition) or emphasizing individual humanness (humanizing condition). They then imagined consulting the doctor about a psychological or physical illness. Although, medical dehumanization had undesirable consequences, some men rated the dehumanizing doctor as more competent than the humanizing doctor. These were men who were (a) emotionally expressive and seeking help for a psychological illness, and (b) men low in emotional expressiveness seeking help for a physical illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

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