Brief Report: Does Watching The Good Doctor Affect Knowledge of and Attitudes Toward Autism?

J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Jun;49(6):2581-2588. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-03911-7.


Individuals' knowledge and attitudes about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) work together to shape the stigma held about ASD. One way that this information is communicated to the public is through popular media; however, little is known about the effectiveness of fictional depictions of ASD in educating and shaping attitudes about ASD. The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact media has on knowledge about and attitudes towards ASD, compared to that of a college lecture on the subject. Exposure to one episode of a fictional drama depicting ASD, compared to watching a lecture, resulted in more accurate knowledge, more positive characteristics associated with ASD, fewer negative characteristics associated with ASD, and a greater desire to learn more about ASD.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Knowledge of autism; Media; Popular culture; Stigma.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Stigma
  • Universities