Het effect van optimisme en losuc of control op attituden ten aanzien van euthanasie
Haan, A.J.A. de
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In the past decades, heated discussions have arisen concerning the actively ending of one’s life by request of the patient and the practice of assisted suicide, in other words, euthanasia. Due to this debate, numerous studies examining a variety of determinants which possibly play a part in the emergence of attitudes towards euthanasia have been conducted. However, no previous research has included the factor of personality as a determinant of one’s position towards euthanasia. This study attempts to learn about the possible relationship of optimism and locus of control on attitude towards euthanasia. Questionnaires were established and handed out to travelers in public transportation (n=183). Results reveal that neither optimism or locus of control had a significant effect on attitude towards euthanasia. However, a relationship was found between optimistic people and people with an internal locus of control. In addition results show that older people have more positive feelings towards euthanasia in comparison with people of a younger age. Finally, it was discovered that religious people have a more negative attitude towards euthanasia than non-religious people. Based on these results, it is concluded that age and religion are in fact significant determinants in the emergence of attitudes towards euthanasia, while optimism and locus of control are not. An explanation of why these two concepts may not have had a visible influence on the results may be that the questionnaire was constructed of hypothetical situations which have no direct relation to the personal situation of the participants. Due to the fact that locus of control and optimism have more influence on the covert level of functioning, future research by means of a questionnaire with an emphasis on this concept may uncover different results.