Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

George Bizer




mental illness, mental health, stigma, clinical


The current study examined the extent to which individual differences predict stigma towards individuals with mental illnesses. It was hypothesized that the more an individual believes in a just world (BJW) and the higher level of social dominance orientation (SDO) one has, the greater negative stigma one will feel towards individuals suffering from mental illnesses. I further hypothesized that these individuals high in BJW and SDO would display lower levels of intention to interact with the stigmatized group in question. Participants completed an online survey, which consisted of the opinions about mental illness scale, the just world scale, the social dominance orientation scale and questions assessing their intent to engage in certain behaviors. While I found no significant correlation between BJW and intention to engage in behaviors, I found SDO and BJW to be significantly correlated with negative stigma. Stigma towards mental illness and SDO were also significantly correlated with the intention to engage in behaviors with these individuals. The present results demonstrated that certain underlying individuals differences are associated with stigma towards individuals with mental illnesses and further go on to correlate with future intentions to engage in behaviors with those stigmatized individuals.