Failiure and Depression

Satisfactory Essays
Imagine two students, one depressed and one not, who have both done well on a paper. Using the dimensions of attribution compare the depressed student’s attributions to that of the non-depressed student and explain how their attributions correspond to their degree of depression.

As “naïve psychologists” (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002), we make assessments about our environment and come to conclusions about events and behaviour we experience. These attributions we make effect how we feel about situations and our “expectations about future events” (modelling … paper). In the context of failure and success, a non-depressed person will generally attribute success to their own efforts (internal) and attribute failure to circumstantial dimensions (external). This correspondence bias serves to maintain and protect self-esteem in a healthy person (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002). A depressed person will make the opposite attributions. Making internal attributions in the event of failure and external attributions in the event of success allows the person to maintain negative perceptions of themselves and the world and allows the continuation of low self-expectations. (Pyszczynski & Greenberg, 1985)
The non-depressed student, in the role of actor, is likely to make internal attributions for their success on a paper e.g. their grade is due to their intelligence and/or effort made in that subject. This is an example of a self-serving bias, more specifically, a self-enhancing bias (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002). The non-depressed student is not likely to consider any external factors toward their success as valid as this will enable them to “maintain self-esteem and ego” (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002) . The depressed student is typically going to make opposite attributions to the non-depressed student. In the role of actor, the depressed student will attribute their success to external causes e.g. they were ‘lucky’ or the paper was particularly easy (Albery et al., 2004)?? The depressed student will focus on external explanations for their success when “behaviour is inconsistent with the perceivers expectations” e.g. when they do well on a paper, but expect to do poorly. (CITE!)
Weiner claimed we use 3 causal dimensions of locus, stability and controllability, when making an attribution (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002). “Locus concerns whether the cause is perceived as being internal or external to the actor; stability refers to whether the causes are temporary or permanent in nature; and controllability concerns whether the cause is perceived as being controllable or uncontrollable” (Albery et al., 2004). Using Weiner’s attribution
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