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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
NASCIMENTO, Alexsandro Medeiros do and ROAZZI, Antonio. Cognitive polyphasia and the iconic structure of the social representation of death. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.3, pp.499-508. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722008000300019.
The present study investigated the image structure of the social representation of death in healthcare professionals. A questionnaire with both open and closed-end questions was used to assess the symbolic and iconic components of the representation of death in a group of 49 physicians, 13 psychologists, and 18 nurses (54 female and 26 male). The data produced was analyzed through a non-metric multidimensional procedure - the SSA - and an "external variables as points" method. Finally, it was compared with the symbolism of death explored in previous studies (Nascimento, 2001b; Nascimento & Roazzi, 2007) and interpreted in the light of the theory of social representations and facet theory. Consistent indications of difficulties in the represen-tation of death and failures in the production of consensus were found, as well as a logical organization of imagistic elements which point out for a state of cognitive polyphasia in the representation of this object.
Keywords : Death; cognitive polyphasia; social representation; mental imagery; facet theory.