The Cognitive Approach to explaining depression

  • Created by: Bolt 775
  • Created on: 27-12-18 22:51

The Cognitive Approach to explaining depression:

Cog App-the perception of depression as determined through maladaptive thought processes with treatments based upon modifying thought patterns/faulty cognition to alter behavioural and emotional states

The cog app generally explains depression in terms of faulty & irrational thought processes/perceptions

Beck's Negative Triad:

This is a model of the cognitive biases whch are chracteristic features of depression

The triad consists of 3 elements/pessimistic thought patterns:

1.Negative views of the self

2.Negative views of the world

3.Negative views of the future

  • Beck (1987) believes people become depressed because the world is seen negatively through negative schemas,which dominate thinking & are triggered whenever individuals are in situations that are similar to those in which negative schemas were learned
  • Beck perceived negative schemas as developing in childhood/adolescence,whe authorative figures,like parents,place unreal demands on individuals & are highly critical of them 
  • These negative schemas then continue into adulthood,providing a negative framework to view life in a pessimistic fashion
  • These negative schemas fuel & are fuelled by cognitive biases,causing individuals to misperceive reality:

Negative Schemas:

  • Ineptness Schemas-Make depressives expect to fail
  • Self-blame Schemas-Make depressives feel responsible for all misfortunes
  • Negative self-evaluation Schemas-Constantly remind depressives of their worthlessness

Cognitive Biases:

  • Arbitrary Inference-Conclusions drawn in the absence of sufficient evidence.For example,a man concluding he's worthless because it's raining the day he hosts an outdoor party 
  • Selective Abstraction-Conclusions drawn from just one part of a situation.For example,a worker feeling worthless when a product doesn't work,even though several people made it
  • Overgeneralisation-Sweeping conclusions drawn on the basis of a single event.For example,a student regarding poor performance on one test as proof of his worthlessness
  • Magnification (maxmisation)/Minimisation-Exaggerations in evaluation of performance.For example,a man believing he's ruined his car due to a small scratch (maximisation) or a woman believing herself worthless despite many priases (minimisation)

Negative schemas together with cognitive biases/distortions,maintain the NEGATIVE TRIAD,which sees negative thoughts as being about:

1.THE SELF-Where individuals see themselves as being helpless,worthless and inadequate i;e 'nobody loves me'

2.THE WORLD-Where obstacles are perceived…


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