Prejudice against Cigarette Smokers in Higher Education.Report as inadecuate

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This study extends earlier work (Campbell, et al., 2000) which documented discriminatory attitudes towards college students who smoke by exploring personality stereotypes associated with student smoking, using a sample of students (N=222) from the Northeastern United States and Australia. Findings of this study corroborate those of other researchers who have found that perceptions of smokers are generally more negative than perceptions of nonsmokers. Nonsmokers were more likely to be viewed as conscientious, ambitious, and having good judgment. Smokers were seen, except by other smokers, as less intelligent and more hostile. A striking disparity in differential perceptions was noted on the dimension of independence. While smokers saw their own group as significantly more independent, nonsmokers saw their groups as being more highly independent. The observed tendency for smokers to think of other smokers as independent and artistically creative may contribute to their own decision to engage in smoking behavior. The paper suggests that education efforts be directed towards informing young adults that the general population does not share this positive view of smokers. (Contains 3 tables and 10 references.) (JDM)

Descriptors: College Students, Foreign Countries, Group Behavior, Health Education, Higher Education, Interpersonal Competence, Smoking, Social Cognition, Social Discrimination, Stereotypes, Student Attitudes

Author: Venuti, John Paul; Conroy, Matthew; Bucy, Paige; Landis, Pamela L.; Chambliss, Catherine


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