The influence of simulated disability slides and audiotape messages on college students' attribution of personality characteristics

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Susan Kaplan

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Third Advisor's Name

James Mills

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes college students have toward those with physical disabilities and what personality characteristics they attribute to physical appearance. One-hundred-one introductory psychology students at FIU were randomly assigned to one of three groups: control--no disability group, a group that viewed five slides of peers with disabilities, and a group that viewed the disability slides and heard their voices. All subjects rated the individuals' perceived personality. A one-way ANOVA revealed that those in the visual and audio disability group rated those with disabilities significantly higher in friendliness, attractiveness, and assertiveness than those who rated the individuals without disabilities. Those in the visual and audio disability group rated them higher in self-esteem than those in the visual only disability group. Since voice can have such positive effects on first impression, an occupational therapist can work on improving communication skills of those with disabilities.



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