Differential Source Effectiveness for Educating the Public About Schizophrenia

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jack Daniels

Advisor Department



The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether there was a difference in information retention and attitudinal change toward schizophrenia as a function of the source providing diagnostic education on the subject. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups, each of which investigated the effectiveness of a separate source (librarian, psychologist, and a person with schizophrenia). All subjects completed pretests measuring their knowledge about schizophrenia (Knowledge Test) and their attitudes (Social Response Questionnaires) toward people with AIDS, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Following this, each group viewed the same psychoeducational videotape on schizophrenia, but with different identifications of the source (librarian, psychologist, or a person with schizophrenia) presenting the information. After viewing the videotape, the Knowledge Test and the Social Response Questionnaires were readministered to all subjects. The study, then, employed a pretest/post-test design. Analysis of the data using two-way analyses of variance, mixed design, revealed no significant differences among the three source groups in level of knowledge gain or in the amount of reported attitude change toward people with schizophrenia. All groups demonstrated increased knowledge about schizophrenia and improved attitudes toward people with schizophrenia following the presentation of the psychoeducational material. An additional finding, using a simple effects design, was an interaction indicating that the subjects receiving information about schizophrenia from a schizophrenic person reported more favorable attitudes toward people with AIDS following the presentation.