Social labelling theory

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Psychology unit 4 schizophrenia
Social labelling theory
The theory states that hallucinations, delusions and bizarre behaviour cause
society to label individuals as schizophrenic. Once a person has this label, it
becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The discrimination this causes increases the
stress they fell making the symptoms worse.
Scheff evaluated 18 studies linked to the labelling theory and found that
13 of them had findings consistent with the theory. One of these studies was
Rosenhan's study which found that the label of schizophrenia influenced the
behaviour of the nurses towards the pseudo patients this supports social
labelling theory as the label of being schizophrenic can lead to
discrimination, making the symptoms worse.
- Doesn't show that labelling cause's schizophrenia, it only proves
that it can make the symptoms worse.
Kimble disagrees with social labelling theory as he found that extreme
symptoms such as catatonia and bizarre delusions were far too extreme to
be caused by just being called a schizophrenic.


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