CFICE Poverty Reduction hub partners have recently published an article in the Journal of Poverty titled, Projective Technique Reveals Unconscious Attitudes about Poverty in Canada.

Terry Mitchell, Colleen Loomis, Alexia Polillo, Brooke Fry, and Mary Mackeigan worked with CFICE as part of the Poverty Reduction hub‘s Phase I project on shifting societal attitudes towards people living in poverty.

In this article, the authors examine the attitudes that youth have towards individuals living in poverty in southwestern Ontario.


Canada has been challenged in attempts to reduce and eliminate poverty. In this study, the authors used a projective technique to assess attitudes about people living in poverty (113 young adults, average age 21) living in southwestern Ontario. Five themes emerged from Thematic Apperception Test responses: (1) negative assumptions about people in poverty, (2) simplified beliefs about various pathways into poverty, (3) conditional compassion for those living in poverty, (4) gendered responses about women in poverty, and (5) individualized attitudes and beliefs about pathways out of poverty. Findings have implications for shifting victim-blaming explanations for why people are living in poverty.

Read the full article.