oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - An investigation of self-deception mechanisms with regards to aids in Malawi



The study investigated the use of outright denial, hopelessness, invulnerability and rationalization ~ self-deception mechanisms with regard to AIDS. 70 male and female subjects (mean age 20) from Chancellor College, University of Malawi, filled in a questionnaire based on an attributional scale by Seligman (1975). The results showed that for the subjects the use of self-deception mechanisms were dependent on the riskness of their behaviours. Despite the knowledge of AIDS, subjects used self-deception mechanisms in order to preserve their self-esteem and maintain their psychological wellbeing. Finally, the findings are discussed in view of tailoring different messages of AIDS campaigns to different populations in Malawi.


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