Attitudes toward retarded children: Effects of labeling and behavioral aggressiveness

Jay Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examined effects of the label "mentally retarded" on attitudes of peers among 48 3rd graders. Half of the Ss were shown a videotape of an actor displaying acting-out behavior, while the remaining half were shown a videotape with the same actor engaging in passive behavior. Half of the Ss in each of these 2 groups were told that the actor was a 5th grader, and the other half were told that he was a mentally retarded boy in a special class. Analysis of variance results revealed a significant interaction between label and behavior, which indicated that Ss responded more negatively to the "mentally retarded" actor who displayed acting-out behavior than to the same actor who exhibited identical behavior but was not labeled. It is concluded that labels should be considered only as they interact with specific behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-585
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1975


  • mentally retarded label, attitudes of peers' toward acting out vs passive behavior, 3rd graders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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