Beck - A systematic investigation into depression
The aim of this study was to understand how people with depression think and how their thinking differs from normal people.
The participants were 50 patients diagnosed with depression.
The method was clinical interviews in a matched pairs design, as the patients were compared to a control group of non-depressed people who were matched to them by age, gender and social position.
The clinical interview used formal analysis and diaries of thoughts to collect the data, and patients were asked about their thoughts during and before the interview. The non-depressed patients also recorded their thoughts for comparison.
The results showed that there were clear differences between the two groups in themes of self esteem, self blame, overwhelming responsibilities and a desire to escape. There was no logical basis for any of their feelings.