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Direct-to-consumer prescription drug websites for stigmatized illnesses
Unformatted Document Text:  stigmatized condition evokes more pity and sympathy than no coping effort. That is, the illustration of person’s effort to cope with onset uncontrollable condition is another effective educational strategy to reduce stigma. Recategorization theory is another theory that is useful to explain how contact can reduce stigma. People tend to organize their understanding of the social world on the basis of categorical distinctions in order to minimize perceived differences within categories and maximizing inter- category differences. Moreover, people define themselves as in-group members, and others as out-group members (See Brewer and Gaertner 2004). This in-group and out-group categorization leads to in-group favoritism (Devine 1995) and inter-group prejudice (Devine, Plant, and Harrison 1999). However, contact between different groups acts to reduce distinction between in-group and out-group category and to reduce intergroup bias and conflict by structuring a definition of a new higher level of category inclusiveness, not by eliminating categorization (Allport 1954). Recategorization, which changes two groups into one more inclusive group, can reduce intergroup bias and conflict (Gaertner and Dovidio 2000). Many previous studies have revealed that contact can reduce stigma on attitudes toward other stigmatized people, such as those who are obese (Madey and Ondrus 1999), have AIDS (Herek and Capitanio 1997), or are gay (Herek and Capitanio 1996). Especially, one study by Penn, Chamberlin, and Mueser (2003) examined the effects of contact on psychiatric stigma reduction by using a documentary film that depicts individuals with schizophrenia. The results showed that the people who were exposed to the documentary about schizophrenia were less likely to blame the schizophrenic individuals. Therefore, recategorization will reduce stigma by changing people’s perceptions toward people with stigmatized illnesses from an “out-group” to an “in-group” or from “them” to “us.” 11

Authors: Kang, Hannah. and An, Soontae.
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stigmatized condition evokes more pity and sympathy than no coping effort. That is, the 
illustration of person’s effort to cope with onset uncontrollable condition is another effective 
educational strategy to reduce stigma.
Recategorization theory is another theory that is useful to explain how contact can reduce 
stigma. People tend to organize their understanding of the social world on the basis of categorical 
distinctions in order to minimize perceived differences within categories and maximizing inter-
category differences. Moreover, people define themselves as in-group members, and others as 
out-group members (See Brewer and Gaertner 2004). This in-group and out-group categorization 
leads to in-group favoritism (Devine 1995) and inter-group prejudice (Devine, Plant, and 
Harrison 1999). 
However, contact between different groups acts to reduce distinction between in-group 
and out-group category and to reduce intergroup bias and conflict by structuring a definition of a 
new higher level of category inclusiveness, not by eliminating categorization (Allport 1954). 
Recategorization, which changes two groups into one more inclusive group, can reduce 
intergroup bias and conflict (Gaertner and Dovidio 2000). Many previous studies have revealed 
that contact can reduce stigma on attitudes toward other stigmatized people, such as those who 
are obese (Madey and Ondrus 1999), have AIDS (Herek and Capitanio 1997), or are gay (Herek 
and Capitanio 1996). Especially, one study by Penn, Chamberlin, and Mueser (2003) examined 
the effects of contact on psychiatric stigma reduction by using a documentary film that depicts 
individuals with schizophrenia. The results showed that the people who were exposed to the 
documentary about schizophrenia were less likely to blame the schizophrenic individuals. 
Therefore, recategorization will reduce stigma by changing people’s perceptions toward people 
with stigmatized illnesses from an “out-group” to an “in-group” or from “them” to “us.” 
11


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