Attributional Styles In Linda's Depression

1599 Words 7 Pages
Depression is the most well known psychological disorder, and in women it is the leading cause of disease-related disability (Noble 2005). Depression typically develops with a negative self-attributional style and a negative view of oneself. The causes of depression aren’t concrete, but they may root in genetic differences, physiological differences and perceptual differences. Their attributional styles, or the way they explain the causes of behaviours and events (Baron et al. 2009) are different than in normal individuals. They view themselves and others differently, typically internalizing the causes of their failures and externalizing any successes they experience. This is exemplified by Linda, a depressed individual who views herself as …show more content…
It seems that Linda attributes her failures to internal causes (i.e. Incompetence or a lack of ability) while her successes might be attributed to external causes (i.e. Good luck) (Baron et al. 2009). This is known as a self-defeating pattern, which is generally considered as being the opposite of how people with out depression attribute things (Baron et al. 2009). This cycle of negative self-concept is a part of what feeds Linda’s depression. If she were to learn how to change her attributional style by adopting a self-serving bias, she could stop feeding her depression. A self-serving bias is where individuals attribute positive outcomes to internal causes, and negative outcomes to external causes. This would allow Linda to change her attributions and take credit for her successes, and stop blaming herself for failures that everyone makes. Generally, these are typical targets of depression therapy. Thus, using a self-serving bias could prevent a negative attribution from feeding Linda’s depression. In addition, self-handicapping is a method that individuals use to protect themselves from their failure. By finding or creating impediments to prevent themselves from doing well, they externalize the source of their failure, if they do well it is in spite of optimal conditions (Jones and Berglas …show more content…
Helping Linda to understand that her depression may stem from genetic cause, a changed perception of self, and altered attribution tendencies could help her work to eliminate her depression. Each of these has an impact on how she feels about her incompetence, but by gaining knowledge in these areas she can stop blaming herself for mistakes that everybody makes. In Linda’s case, it would be beneficial to do research on how changing point of view can directly help in depression in order to see if this kind of therapy would lower self esteem, or help with attribution. This would lead to a better understanding of how the perception of self changes in

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