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Multidimensional Perceptions of Illness and Injury
Roselle Wissler and Allen J. Hart et al.
2 Current Research in Social Psychology 30 (1997)
Open Access


This paper investigates the multidimensional nature of how we perceive physical illness and injury, and differences in those perceptions based on experience. Multidimensional scaling revealed that similarity judgments of 15 medical conditions made by registered nurses, undergraduate nursing students, and liberal arts students were based primarily on their functional impact to the individual (e.g., correctability and impact on long-term motor and sensory function). The less experienced students, however, also viewed the injuries more in terms of surface similarity (e.g., amputation, disfigurement, and sensory loss) than the registered nurses. The implications of the findings for decision making in personal injury cases are discussed.
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