Patient Characteristics That Impact Tattoo Removal Resource-Allocation Choices: Tattoo Content, Age, and Parental Status


David Wiseman, Psychology Department, Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738. E-mail:


This study assessed characteristics that affect decisions about receipt of a tattoo-removal procedure among members of stigmatized groups. Two experiments, each with different participants, assessed how changes in characteristics of hypothetical patients described as having a tattoo that reduced employment prospects affected how participants allocated access to the procedure. Patient characteristics assessed were parental status, age, and tattoo content. Participants ranked prospective patients (all described as having an undesirable tattoo, and varied with respect to the aforementioned characteristics) on the priority for receipt of removal. Young patients with children, and with specific tattoo contents, were favored. Implications for prejudice against certain groups are noted.