This study investigated causal attributions and attitudes toward a hypothetical lung cancer patient. Participants included 147 undergraduate students who read 1 of 3 vignettes about a man recently diagnosed with lung cancer. The vignettes were identical except for the causal description of the patient's lung cancer (genetic, smoking, or combined). Compared with the other 2 conditions, participants in the genetic condition believed the hypothetical patient had less control and less responsibility for his illness; they also noted more pity and less anger. There were no significant differences in these variables between the smoking and combined conditions. Information about genetic information appears to trigger more positive perceptions of lung cancer patients, but only in the absence of smoking histories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology