Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

The Relationships between Sociotropic and Autonomous Personality Styles and Depressive Realism in Dysphoric and Nondysphoric University Students

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

The Relationships between Sociotropic and Autonomous Personality Styles and Depressive Realism in Dysphoric and Nondysphoric University Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The current study examined the hypothesis that participants' responses to depressive realism tasks are not only a function of mood state, but also a function of sociotropic and autonomous personality style. In the first experiment, university students who scored high or low on a measure of sociotropy and high or low on a measure of dysphoria were exposed to a depressive realism paradigm in which they engaged in dyadic interaction with a friend. Following the interaction, participants' estimates of their performance were compared with the evaluations of their friend. In the second experiment, participants who scored high or low on a measure of autonomy and high or low on dysphoria were exposed to a computerized success/failure task. The results across both experiments did not support the depressive realism hypothesis, in that the participants' degree of realism, distortion and/or bias generally varied as a function of both personality style and mood state in the predicted directions. Implications of these findings for the depressive realism literature are discussed.

Resume

Cette etude examine l'hypothese que la reponse des participants a des taches de realisme depressif depend non seulement de l'humeur, mais aussi du fait que la personnalite est sociotropique ou autonome. Dans la premiere experience, des etudiants de niveau universitaire qui avaient obtenu une note elevee ou faible a une mesure de la sociotropie ainsi qu'une note elevee ou faible a une mesure de la dysphorie ont ete soumis a une situation de realisme depressif, c'est-a-dire une interaction dyadique avec un ami. Les etudiants ont ensuite evalue leur performance, et cette evaluation a ete comparee a celle faite par leur ami. Dans la deuxieme experience, les participants qui avaient obtenu une note elevee ou faible a la mesure de l'autonomie ainsi qu'une note elevee ou faible a la mesure de la dysphorie ont ete soumis a un exercice informatise entrainant une reussite ou un echec. Les resultats des deux experiences ne soutiennent pas l'hypothese du realisme depressif: le degre de realisme, de distorsion ou de partialite des participants variait generalement en fonction du type de personnalite et de l'humeur, dans le sens prevu. Les incidences de ces conclusions pour la documentation sur le realisme depressif sont examinees.

Despite the accumulated evidence related to negative thinking in depression (see Haaga, Dyck, & Emst, 1991, for a review), a competing body of research has arisen which challenges the basic assumption that depressed individuals are characterized by a systematic negative bias in their thinking. It has been suggested that depressed persons are usually realistic in their perceptions, and that it is the nondepressed who are guilty of perceptual errors, which manifest themselves as self-enhancing biases (Taylor & Brown, 1988). Two factors limit the strength of conclusions about depression realism, as both the external validity of the experimental tasks used to establish this phenomenon, and the personal salience of these tasks have been questioned (Dykman, Horowitz, Abramson, & Usher, 1991).

The notion that depressed people may be relatively accurate in their perceptions of control was initially reported in detail in "judgment of contingency" studies conducted by Alloy and Abramson (1979). A number of studies have since replicated "depressive realism" -- (Mischel, 1979) (e.g., Alloy, Abramson, & Viscusi, 1981; Alloy & Abramson, 1982; Vazquez, 1987; Mikulincer, Gerber, & Weisenberg, 1990; Lennox, Bedell, Abramson, & Raps, 1990) -- although there have also been a number of studies which have not been able to elicit the depressive realism phenomenon, even though they have used virtually the same methodology as Alloy and Abramson (1979) (e. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.