Describe and evaluate the cognitive approach to explaining depression 12 mark essay plan

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Describe and evaluate the cognitive approach to explaining depression (12
Point 1 Beck's cognitive theory of depression
Faulty information processing
o Tend to blow small problems out of proportion and think in `black and white'
Negative selfschemas
o Schema is a package of ideas and information developed through experience
o Act as a mental framework for interpretation of sensory information
o Selfschema is a package of ideas we have about ourselves
The negative triad
o Someone develops a dysfunctional view of themselves because of three
types of negative thinking that occur automatically
o When depressed, negative thoughts about the world, future and ourselves
often come to us
A. Negative view of the world
E.g. "The world is a cold dark place" ­ no hope anywhere
B. Negative view of the future
"I will never amount to anything" ­ reduce hopefulness,
enhance depression
C. Negative view of self
"I am worthless" ­ enhance existing depressive feelings,
confirm emotions of self esteem
Point 2 Ellis's ABC model
Ellis (1962) people with good mental health is a result of rational thinking
Irrational thoughts ­ any thoughts that interfere with us being happy/free of pain.
o A ctivating event
Focused on situations in which irrational thoughts are triggered by
external events
We get depressed when we experience negative events
E.g. failing exams or ending relationships
o B eliefs
He called the belief that we must always succeed or achieve
perfection `musturbation'
`Ican'tstandititis' ­ belief that it is a major disaster whenever
something doesn't go smoothly
`Utopianism' ­ idea life is always meant to be fair
o C onsequences
When an activating event triggers irrational beliefs there are
emotional and behavioural consequences
If you believe you should always succeed and fail this can trigger
A02 Evaluation

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Point 1 Supporting evidence
Grazoli and Terry (2000) assessed 65 pregnant women for cognitive vulnerability and
depression before and after birth.…read more


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