Value Hegemony and Stigma in Clinical Psychology Training

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Michael Karson

Second Advisor

Laura Meyer

Third Advisor

Brian Beaumund


Clinical psychology, Diversity, Sociopolitical, Graduate training, Stigma


Social psychology has revealed disparity in sociopolitical representation in the field of psychology (Klein & Stern, 2005) and possible ramifications for liberal hegemony, including bias against conservatives, have been explored in the literature (Duarte et al., 2015; Inbar & Lammers, 2012; Redding 2013). While no studies have been performed in clinical psychology, anecdotal evidence from students in a graduate clinical psychology training program suggests a bias may be present. Erving Goffman’s Stigma Theory (1963) and Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory (2012) were used to explore this phenomenon and offer explanations to understand the differences between conservatives and liberals within this setting. A conceptual analysis revealed values embedded in psychology and within training requirements align with liberal ideology and present a stigma toward alternative, specifically conservative, value systems. Group membership, general thought processes/conceptualization of social issues, and behavior within this training program represent areas in which conservative values appear un-/undervalued. Ramifications were explored for students, professors, and recipients of mental health treatment. Approaches to integrate conservative values into graduate clinical psychology training are offered, including appreciating the contribution conservative moral foundations offer for understanding sociopolitical diversity and for implementing effective mental health treatment.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


45 pgs

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