The Expectancy Effect and Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research: A Scoping Review


expectancy effect, age-related macular degeneration, behavior, scoping review


According to Rosenthal’s expectancy effect, our conscious and unconscious attitudes and expectations may impact the behaviors of those around us. A loss-focused paradigm may affect understanding of the potential of individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), their self-expectations, and their outcomes. Thus, we undertook a scoping review according to the five-stage framework proposed by Arksey and O’Malley (2005). The purpose was to provide a comprehensive overview of the relevant research related to how researchers study and report the effects of AMD on individuals, families, caregivers, and communities. The review links findings to negative perceptions of blindness, including the hierarchy of sight. Findings are discussed in the context of Rosenthal’s expectancy effect. Gaps in the literature are identified, with recommendations for future research. Results indicate that there is a strong negative bias and loss focus in the existing literature. Scientific inquiry into the psychological, health, and social issues surrounding AMD has focused on its negative outcomes. This body of literature has emerged out of a sociocultural environment that may have influenced the questions asked about vision loss and the outcomes expected. This could affect research findings and patient outcomes. Reframing expected outcomes from the struggle with blindness may include investigating positive outcomes, such as posttraumatic growth (PTG). The positive influence of low-vision rehabilitation and blindness training should not be ignored.

Original Publication Citation

Trujillo Tanner, C., Caserta, M. Ord, L., M., Clayton, M., Kleinschmidt, J., Berstein, P., & Guo, J.-W. (2020). Social expectancy and age-related macular degeneration research; A scoping review of the literature. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research. Vol.10:1.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research





University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor