The bolstering effect of conceptual priming on psychological help-seeking attitudes in men

Omar Yousaf, Aneka Popat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Abstract Background: It is a well-established finding that men are often unwilling to engage with mental health services, and that they hold negative attitudes toward psychological help-seeking. Consequently, men's psychological problems often remain untreated, which in turn can compromise their quality of life. Aims: The present experiment addresses this problem using a conceptual priming paradigm from social psychology called Scrambled Sentence Test as an intervention to change men's negative attitudes toward psychological help-seeking. Method: The Scrambled Sentence Test works by asking participants to unscramble sentences that unbeknownst to them include priming words - in this case, openness and communication-related words. Sixty-nine men completed the task (with priming or control words) under the instructions of a condition-blind experimenter. Results: The primed group showed more positive attitudes (Mdn = 56.5) toward seeking psychological help compared to controls (Mdn = 40.0), p < 0.01; r = 0.38. Conclusion: The findings are the first to suggest that conceptual priming of this kind can be used an as effective and time-efficient intervention by mental health professionals to encourage men to seek help for psychological problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume24
Issue number6
Early online date2 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • attitude change
  • help-seeking
  • men
  • mental health
  • priming

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