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Labeling, Pros and Cons of

Categorizing, or labeling, groups is a common, everyday practice by people around the world. It often helps people make sense of their immediate environment. However, history has shown that labeling characteristics of people that then categorize them into groups can have both positive and negative effects. This is particularly true when labeling people with intellectual and developmental disorders. Research has failed to provide clear answers about the lasting effects of diagnostic labels on individuals with disabilities, and there are many reasons why psychologists, educators, medical professionals, and other service providers offer diagnostic labels to people. However, there are negative impacts of providing diagnostic labels as well. This entry describes positive and negative effects of providing diagnostic labels for individuals with symptoms of intellectual and developmental ...

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