Marogna, C., Caccamo, F., Salcuni, S., & Nobile, F.
University students and semantic differential: A pilot study comparing subjects who sought psychological help with subjects who did not
The study aims to explore three semantic domains (My Self, My Family, and Social Perception) tied to emotional daily life experience. A semantic differential (SD) scale was administered to a sample of 799 Italian college students: 387 of them had sought psychological help, 412 had not. The original Osgood, Suci, and Tanebaum (1957) three-factor structure (Evaluation, Potency, and Activity) was imposed and a mean score for the three domains was calculated. MANOVAs were conducted for all factors and their mean scores, comparing the two samples in each domain. Significant differences were found in all three factors in each domain as well as in their mean scores. The most negative attitudes were expressed by students who had sought psychological help: moreover, our analysis highlighted a specific effect tied to gender. Results also suggested female predisposition to emphasize judgments, particularly being more negativistic than males in the counseling sample and more positivistic in the non counseling sample.Back