Assessing beliefs about 'environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivity'

Rebecca L. Gomez, Roger W. Schvaneveldt, Herman Staudenmayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Knowledge representation was used to characterize beliefs in patients with Environmental Illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (EI/MCS). EI/MCS patients, allergy and asthma patients, doctors and controls made relatedness judgments on concepts relevant to EI/MCS. Associative networks showed that EI/MCS patients viewed these concepts differently from others. Multiple chemical exposure was central in EI/MCS networks, with many links to every other concept, but was only peripherally connected in the other subject networks. Similarity comparisons to an EI/MCS prototype network discriminated EI/MCS patients from the other control populations, as did an index based on critical concept pairs. This approach shows promise for distinguishing patient groups using belief structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Assessing beliefs
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Patient beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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