The Legal Investigator The Legal Investigator (Vol 38, Issue 2, Summer 2013) : Page 5

social distance for one another depends on the level of emotional or social prejudices held by each. Studies show that when a person perceives another’s behavior to be unusual or abnormal, he or she will likely feel the desire to place a social distance between himself and that person. This social distance often manifests itself in feelings of aloofness or a general feeling of fear. Sociologists have studied social distance for many years. Originally a seven point scale was used to measure attitudes toward immigrants. The scores ranged from “1-Would marry into the group” to “7-Would bar from my nation.” Later the scale was adapted for groups varying in race and religion. Since then social distance scales have been adapted for an estimate of discrimination against persons with a mental illness and severe physical disability. Researchers have recognized the applicability of the concept to social distance to people with intellectual disability as well. The greater the social distance between jurors and your clients with mental disabilities, the greater will be summer 2013 5

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