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Patient's perceptions of primary care doctors

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Organizational Justice Resaerch Team

Conference presentations

Barry Godolphin Research Grant


Welcome. We are a team of junior and senior undergraduates who work with Dr. Heather Smith.

In this project, we draw upon relational models of authority to explore older patients’ evaluations of doctor visits. In a first mail survey, we found that older respondents perceived their doctor to be closer to them in age, respectful treatment was more closely related to compliance. If respondents perceived their doctor to be much younger than they were, obtaining needed information was more closely related to compliance. We now are conducting a second study in which we experimentally manipulate the doctor’s age and behavior in order to see if we can find causal evidence for the same relationships.

THANK YOU to everyone who participated!

In April, we presented some preliminary findings at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological association in Irvine, California.

Please click here to read the presentation abstract.

A summary of the first survey now is published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Thank you again to Kim Parchman, Jean Peterson, Loraine Bleu and the members of the Santa Rosa Classics Organization for all their help with this project and most especially, to Byrne Eggenberger for inspiring the original project.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Heather Smith.

Team members:

Ashley Stenger
Ashley Cook
Maraya Summer Hull
Jamie Luiz
Regina Withers




Heather Smith, Ph.D.
Psychology Department
Sonoma State University
1801 E. Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 93928