Individuals with autism tend to have difficulty with social relationships in the workplace, which makes it hard to obtain and maintain employment. In order to help individuals with autism navigate the workplace, it is important to examine possible stigma management strategies. Using principles from the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) theory, I investigated the effects of disclosing autism on coworker attitudes by having participants view and react to a video of an individual with autism. I also investigated the effects of displayed interpersonal warmth (e.g., greeting others) on potential coworker attitudes. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions formed by the presence or absence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) disclosure and the presence or absence of interpersonal warmth. After viewing the videos, the participants completed several measures designed to assess their interpersonal judgments, emotional reactions, behavioral intentions, and overall workplace attitudes towards the individual with ASD. Results showed that disclosure had a more pervasive positive impact on the participants' reactions than did displayed interpersonal warmth. When ASD was disclosed, participants perceived the individual as more warm and competent, felt more admiration and less irritation toward him, were more likely to help and associate with him, and were more willing to work with him.
Stewart, Jordan G., "Effects of Disclosing Autism on Coworker Attitudes" (2013). Honors Projects. 163.
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