2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Effect of Education About Depression on Mood

Anthony Rogers*, Nala Turner, Bailey R. Holm, Emily E. Kinkade, Samantha E. Carroll, and Claire E. Miller
Dr. Jeffrey Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Education on depression often focuses on psychological, sociological, or biological perspectives. In past research, biological explanations of depression produced prognostic pessimism. We tested the hypothesis that conceptualizing depression as biologically-based predicts poorer mood compared to psychological or sociological views of depression. In this study, undergraduates completed questionnaires assessing mood and well being and then wrote about a time they felt sad. Correspondence of participants’ writing with word use patterns in articles about depression from biological, psychological, and sociological academic journals gauged participants’ views of depression. Participants’ writings were scored for well-being using a dictionary of keywords compiled from standard questionnaires. In partial support of our hypotheses, writing from a psychological perspective predicted decreased sadness and increased positive affect, whereas writing from a biological perspective predicted lower well-being. These findings were consistent with previous research and the theory of learned helplessness.  

Keywords: Education, Depression, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Learned Helplessness, Mood, Writing Analysis


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 7-9
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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