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PERCEPTIONS OF JUSTICE AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS PEOPLE WITH AIDS: GERMAN - U.S. COMPARISONS

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Abstract:

Negative attitudes towards people with AIDS are still prevalent. While previous research has investigated how these negative attitudes are related to various demographic variables, this research examined how they might differ cross-culturally, and how they are related to general beliefs about a just world, one's preference to distribute resources on the basis of merit or need, and one's health locus of control. Undergraduates from the U.S. (N=145) and West Germany (N=108) responded to a questionnaire which measured these dimensions. The most negative attitudes towards people with AIDS were found among males who were external in health locus of control, had more negative attitudes towards allocating resources on the basis of need, and had positive attitudes towards allocating on the basis of merit. As compared to U.S. respondents, German respondents indicated less of a just world view, less preference for merit, more preference for need as an allocation strategy, and more external health locus of control beliefs. Although t-tests showed cultural differences in attitudes towards people with AIDS, the effect disappeared in the regression analyses, indicating that it was coming from culture's covariation with the above mentioned dimensions.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1991.19.1.29

Publication date: January 1, 1991

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