Abstract

The purpose of the present work was to investigate how members of the public perceived survivors of brain injury. A 20-item list of attributes that could be used to describe characteristics of survivors of brain injury were given to 323 participants. One hundred and sixty-nine psychology students and 154 members of the public agreed to take part in the study. The effects of group (student and public), gender and socioeconomic status (low, moderate and high) on the attributes were assessed. Multivariate analysis of variance showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups with students holding more positive perceptions on 15 out of the 20 attributes. No effects of gender or socioeconomic status were found. The research suggests that members of the public hold less positive views on survivors of brain injury in respect to intellectual competency, ability to care and trustworthiness when compared to students.