Title

Accurately imagining suicide: Imagine-self, imagine-person, observer instructions

Authors

EC Knott
LM Range

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-1997

Department

Psychology

Abstract

To see if actor versus observer instructions influenced students' perceptions of social support during a suicidal crisis, 80 students completed social support, interpersonal reactivity, and suicidal behaviors questionnaires. In a yoked design, students who had been suicidal were matched with those who were instructed to imagine themselves being suicidal, to imagine that another person was suicidal, or to observe a person who was suicidal. Those who had been suicidal in the past (n = 20) were more suicidal than the other 3 groups (ns = 20). The suicidal group perceived high social support (belonging and appraisal), compared to the others, who perceived moderate support. Overall, nonsuicidal college students consistently underestimated their suicidal peer's social support, regardless of the instructions they were given.

Publication Title

JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

Volume

27

Issue

17

First Page

1545

Last Page

1556