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Social labelling theory
States that hallucinations, delusions and bizarre behaviour cause society to label
these individuals as schizophrenic. Once a person has this label it becomes a self
fulfilling prophecy. The discrimination this causes the individuals increases the
stress felt which can make the symptoms worse.
Scheff : evaluated 18 studies and found that 13 of them were linked to
labelling theory. One of the studies was Rosenhan's study who found that
the label of schizophrenia influenced the behaviour of the nurses towards
the pseudo patients. This supports labelling theory as the label of being
schizophrenic can lead to discrimination making the symptoms worse.
However it doesn't show that labelling cause's schizophrenia as it only
proves that labelling can make symptoms worse.
Kimble : disagrees with social labelling theory as he found that the very
real and distressing symptoms such as bizarre delusions and catatonic
behaviour were far too extreme to be caused by just being labelled as