Poster F22, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
SCHIZOPHRENIA AND STIGMA: AN ERP STUDY
Denice Vidals1, Jayden Zeng1, Lorraine Singh1, Brianna Riviezzo1, Jill Grose-Fifer1,2; 1John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, 2The Graduate Center, CUNY
Research has shown that people view schizophrenia as having more negative stigma than other mental illnesses. We used ERPs to investigate both early and late neural processes elicited when viewing pictures of people who were identified as having schizophrenia. We recorded EEG from undergraduates while they looked at photographs of angry or happy faces surrounded by a colored border signifying whether or not the individual in the picture had schizophrenia. The border color was counterbalanced across participants. We measured the P100, N170, and LPP and found that the P1 and LPP were not modulated by mental health labeling. In contrast, the N170 was larger for happy faces that were identified as being healthy than for those identified as having schizophrenia. The fact that an early ERP component (N170) associated with face processing was modulated by mental health labeling may indicate that our participants had negative implicit attitudes toward people with schizophrenia. This is supported by previous research that has shown larger N170s for in-group compared to out-group members. On the other hand, the LPP results suggest that our participants did not have any explicit biases toward people with mental illness. The majority of participants in our sample were psychology majors who are more likely to be aware about mental illness than other members of the general public. This paradigm may have future utility in assessing the efficacy of educational programs designed to reduce mental health stigma.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Person perception