Testing for Depressive Realism in a Clinically Depressed Sample

Venkatesh, Shruti, Moulds, Michelle L., and Mitchell, Christopher J. (2018) Testing for Depressive Realism in a Clinically Depressed Sample. Behaviour Change, 35 (2). pp. 108-122.

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Abstract

The depressive-realism effect refers to a phenomenon in which depressed individuals are more realistic at assessing the relationship between two events than non-depressed individuals. Recent evidence suggests that the depressive realism hypothesis is weaker than first thought. Thus, we sought evidence for depressive-realism under conditions that we hypothesised would maximise the effect. We tested a clinically depressed sample of participants who were administered a rumination induction. Twenty-eight clinically depressed and 39 non-depressed participants were randomly allocated to either a rumination condition (focused on the causes, consequences, and meaning of their mood) or a distraction condition (focused on external objects/events such as a classroom). Participants then completed a contingency task in which there was no relationship between their responses and an outcome, and they were asked to make a judgment of how much control they had over an outcome. Both groups and conditions did not differ in their judgments of control; participants in all conditions showed a non-normative judgment of control. The depressive-realism effect was not observed in this study, even when depressed participants were encouraged to ruminate. Rather, the present study clearly demonstrates the robustness of the illusion of control.

Item ID: 74194
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2049-7768
Copyright Information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2018
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 22:22
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520302 Clinical psychology @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520404 Memory and attention @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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