Impact of changing the Japanese term for "schizophrenia" for reasons of stereotypical beliefs of schizophrenia in Japanese youth

Hidehiko Takahashi, Takashi Ideno, Shigetaka Okubo, Hiroshi Matsui, Kazuhisa Takemura, Masato Matsuura, Motoichiro Kato, Yoshiro Okubo

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52 Citations (Scopus)


The old term for schizophrenia, "Seishin-Bunretsu-Byo" (Mind-Split Disease), has been replaced by "Togo-Shitcho-Sho" (Integration Disorder) in Japan. Stigma research requiring individuals to report personal beliefs is useful but is subject to social desirability bias. Using the Implicit Association Test, a measurement designed to minimize this bias, we assessed the impact of this renaming on the stereotype of schizophrenia held by a younger generation. The old term was strongly associated with "criminal", and this association became significantly weaker with the new term. The strategy of renaming holds considerable promise for tempering negative bias toward this disorder in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul 1



  • Implicit association test
  • Renaming
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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