Date of Award

1989

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Minton, H.,

Keywords

Psychology, Social.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

An individual's underlying values (or lay epistemology) may be a more crucial determinant in the formation of attitudes towards Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and People with AIDS than his or her knowledge about AIDS. Using Unger's (1986) terminology, it is argued that the social constructionist value orientation, as opposed to the logical positivist orientation, is most consistent with the demonstration of humane attitudes, with respect to this issue. Two hypotheses are explored. The first hypothesis is that there is a relationship between lay epistemology and attitudes towards AIDS, such that social constructionism is related to humane attitudes towards AIDS, and logical positivism is related to negative attitudes. This hypothesis is supported by the data. The second hypothesis is that lay epistemology and knowledge of AIDS predicts attitudes towards AIDS. However, a larger proportion of the variance in attitudes towards AIDS is explained by epistemology than by knowledge of AIDS. The results of this hypothesis are promising, though not entirely as expected. Nevertheless, epistemology as well as knowledge of AIDS are significant predictors of attitudes towards AIDS. Both factors should be taken into account in educating the public about AIDS. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 30-03, page: 0907. Chair: H. Minton. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1989.

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