Children with Down syndrome faced with implicit stereotyping based on facial features

Photographs of children with Down syndrome elicit less positive attitudes than photographs of typically developing children do, reports new research published Apr. 4 in the open access journal PLoS ONE. This effect was strongest for photographs of children with features that are "strongly typical" of Down syndrome, and somewhat weaker for images that were more "weakly typical."

Although photographs of children with Down syndrome are typically viewed as more positive ("friendly" and "affectionate") than negative ("stupid"), the results of this study reveal underlying stereotypes and about people with Down syndrome at an implicit level, the authors write.

This negative bias is observed even among professional caregivers working with intellectually disabled persons. The work was led by Claire Enea-Drapeau of Aix-Marseille Univ. and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, Fédération de Recherche 3C: Comportement-Cerveau-Cognition, Marseille, France.

More information: Enea-Drapeau C, Carlier M, Huguet P (2012) Tracking Subtle Stereotypes of Children with Trisomy 21: From Facial-Feature-Based to Implicit Stereotyping. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34369. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034369

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

When social fear is missing, so are racial stereotypes

Apr 12, 2010

Children with the genetic condition known as Williams syndrome have unusually friendly natures because they lack the sense of fear that the rest of us feel in many social situations. Now, a study reported in the April 13th ...

Oxytocin promises hope in Prader-Willi syndrome

Jun 24, 2011

Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder which affects one child in 25,000. Children born with this syndrome have a range of complex neurological and developmental problems which continue into adult life. These can ...

Tourette Syndrome: non-drug therapy to reduce tics

Apr 14, 2011

The use of cognitive-behavioural therapy to treat tics in Tourette syndrome may be as effective as and even superior to medication in certain cases. According to a new study published in a special edition of the International Jo ...

Tsunami Invisibility Cloak

Sep 26, 2008

Rather than building stronger ocean-based structures to withstand tsunamis, it might be easier to simply make the structures disappear.

Recommended for you

What sign language teaches us about the brain

Jul 25, 2014

The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing ...

Why do men prefer nice women?

Jul 25, 2014

People's emotional reactions and desires in initial romantic encounters determine the fate of a potential relationship. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second ...

Study reveals how to be socially successful

Jul 25, 2014

Romantic, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

User comments