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Title: Public attitudes towards intellectual disabilities after watching Olympic/Paralympic performance
Author: Ferrara, J. K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 271X
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2012
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Despite there being some changes to the way that people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) are viewed in society, negative attitudes prevail. One of the aspirations of the Paralympic games 2012 organisers was to influence the public’s attitudes towards disabled people. The aim of this study was to investigate whether stimuli depicting people with ID performing at a Paralympic level of sport can change attitudes towards ID. A mixed randomised comparison group design was employed comparing two groups; those who viewed Paralympic level ID sport footage and information, and those who viewed Olympic footage and information on measures of implicit attitudes towards disability and explicit attitudes towards people with ID. One hundred and fourteen students at a UK university were administered the measures pre and post the stimuli presentation. Implicit attitudes significantly changed in a positive direction from T1 to T2 for both groups. Attitudes of empowerment increased from T1-T2, nearing significance. The findings provide evidence that Paralympic (ID) and Olympic footage plus written information seems to change attitudes towards people with ID, at least in the short term. Viewing elite sports information and footage may have at least a short term effect on attitudes towards ID which provides some tentative support to one of the London 2012 legacy promises. However it does not seem to matter which footage people are exposed to. Given both types of stimuli proved effective it suggests the possible role of affect in changing attitudes through the media, which warrants further investigation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GV0445 Physical education for people with disabilities ; GV0706 Sports psychology ; HM1041 Social perception. Social cognition