Attribution Theory- Unipolar depression explanation

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  • Created by: bethcx
  • Created on: 18-02-16 15:20
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  • Attribution theory
    • Refers to the way individuals explain reasons for events.
      • There are 3 attribution styles:
        • Locus of Control- the extent to which a person believes outcome is down to them. External locus is when they believe they have no control and internal is when they believe they are responsible.
          • If a person has internal, stable and global attribution style they are vulnerable to depression
        • Stability- whether a characteristic is permanent and will never change (stable) or can change (unstable).
        • Global/ Specific- whether the cause of an event refers to the whole person (global) or just one characteristic (specific).
    • Evaluation
      • People who are diagnosed with depression have been found to be more likely to have an internal, global, stable attribution style.
        • Also, people who are prone to becoming depressed are seen tho have this style.This means that depression could be prevented if this is identified early.
      • Empirical evidence has  been put forward by Seligman who gave college students the ASQ and found that middle depressed students had more of this style than non-depressed students.
      • Difficult to establish where the depressive attribution style comes from.
      • Rose found that this style related to sexual abuse in childhood, as well as parental overprotectiveness, harsh discipline and perfectness standards.


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