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Mental Representations of Military Veterans: The Pictures (and Words) In Our Heads

December, 2020
Article:

This article explores the representation of veterans and associated stereotypes of veterans in American society.

Abstract

There has been much popular and academic discussion concerning the public’s mental “pictures” of US military veterans, a group afforded symbolic capital but also stereotyped by American society. Nevertheless, we have little empirical research concerning how the public thinks about military veterans. The present study helps to fill the void by examining two mental representations of military veterans among 1,047 respondents to a survey of US adults. First, it examines semantic representations of veterans, employing a priming task to see which words Americans most often associate with veterans. Second, it employs a visual imagery approach to better understand the “pictures in our heads” of veterans, asking respondents to imagine veterans and describe their race, gender, age, and from whence those images came, focusing on mass media and personal experience.

Full Reference

Parrott, S., Albright, D. L., Eckhart, N., & Laha-Walsh, K. (2020). Mental Representations of Military Veterans: The Pictures (and Words) In Our Heads. Journal of Veterans Studies, 6(3), 61–71. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v6i3.207

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