A Talk on Stigma

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Elif Gozde Ikizer, Yale University

Stigma: Broadening the Perspective


Stigma, the devaluing of a person based on a marked identity, has a profound negative impact on individuals’ health and well-being. Context and culture determine what constitutes a stigmatized identity and what the impact of the stigma is; however, the work on stigma has traditionally focused on universal mechanisms in the causes of stigma and its impact on the targets. There is a plethora of research on interventions to reduce the negative experiences of disadvantaged and stigmatized groups in society, some with immense media attention. In the first half of my talk, I will focus on exposure to simple psychological interventions via the media. Paradoxically, exposure to these interventions lead to blaming the disadvantaged individuals the interventions were designed to assist. I will then discuss the broader implications of this work regarding science communication. Although much is known about the basic mechanisms of stigma from a universalist perspective, work on the cultural processes that shape stigma and its consequences is limited. In the second half of my talk, I will present findings from my cross-cultural research on stigma. These findings show universal patterns on stigma’s consequences on well-being of the targets, while highlighting cross-cultural differences on the experience of stigma. Findings show that despite being traditionally overlooked, cultural dimensions such as tightness or collectivism may heighten the negative consequences of stigma for the targets.


Date / Time: 28.02.2019 / 15.00

Location: Psychology Seminar Room