Tattooed psychologists perceived as more “confident and empathetic”, USask study finds
For a very long time, body art was viewed as unprofessional or tied to negative stereotypes.
However, the stigma around tattoos has changed.
A to study made by University of Saskatchewan A graduate of the Department of Psychology, Alexandra Zidenberg, shows that psychologists are considered more competent and trustworthy when they are inked.
Saskatoon tattoo artist and owner of Bee tattoo the Haley Gardiner store said, âIt’s about time.
“All the stigma around it is a little ridiculous.”
– Haley Gardiner
More than 500 attendees, mostly from Saskatchewan, saw three different photos of the same psychologist, but one had a conspicuous tattooed skull and flower.
The tattooed professional was seen as more confident, empathetic and likeable.
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âHaving super visible tattoos is one form of vulnerability that I think people could relate to a lot,â Gardiner said.
Zidenberg had the idea to research the connection between psychologists and tattoos when she was out to dinner with friends working in professional fields. They have expressed concerns about the stigma of their own tattoos in the workplace.
She found several studies showing that professionals in other fields did not get the same positive response.
âPeople tended to perceive tattooed medical professionals as less competent and they had more negative feelings towards them,â Zidenberg said.
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According to the researcher, the move towards tattoos may be linked to a younger generation or to the profession itself.
âYou often reveal your secrets and talk about really personal information. It might be a little different from the way we talk to other healthcare professionals. “
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Gardiner linked the change to personal experience and human connection.
âTattoos are often an indication of a personal struggle or triumph that this person has decided to represent over their body,â Gardiner said.
According to a Ipsos Reid Poll conducted by Global News in 2011, two in ten Canadians have at least one tattoo on their body.
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