Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Karen Naufel

Committee Member 1

Lawrence Locker

Committee Member 2

Jessica Brooks


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect that disability-language has on the stigmatization and dehumanization of people with biladocese, a novel disability that carries identical symptoms to severe epilepsy. Two groups, one exposed to person-first language and the other to disability-first language, completed measures of stigma and dehumanization. It was predicted that stigma and dehumanization would be higher in the disability-first language condition and that levels of stigma and dehumanization would be related to each other. However, the results revealed that exposure to language type did not significantly affect levels of stigma or dehumanization. Specifically, levels of stigma and dehumanization were high among both groups of participants and were did not correlate with one another. Short-term exposure to subtle differences in language use when referring to people with disabilities does not seem to have significant effects on how people perceive them.

Research Data and Supplementary Material