Psychological explanations of depression: BECK


Psychological explanations of depression: BECK


  • Research to support Becks cognitive theory comes from Hammen and Krantz (1976) who found that depressed women made more errors in logic when asked to interpret written material than non- depressed patients. This shows that the negative views which they have about themselves has impaired their ability to do something which should have been quite simple. Furthmore, Bates et al (1999) found that depressed participants who were given automatic negative thought statements became more and more depressed. This shows how much of a negative impact negative schemas have on depressed patients. Both of these support Beck because they both show the impact that the negative schemas and triad have on cognitive functioning.
  • Butler and Beck (2000) reviewed 14 meta-analyses that have investigated the effectiveness of Becks cognitive therapy and concluded that about 80% of adults benefited from the therapy compared to controls who had no therapy. The therapy was more successful than drug therapies and had a lower relapse rate. Thus supporting the idea the depression has a cognitive basis.



Overall the psychological explanation is reductionist which means it breaks down the explanation in to parts. This is a limitation because it doesn’t show how the different psychological explanations work together to cause depression, for example there is no link between the Freudian approach and cognitive explanations which means the psychological explanation cannot be explained as a whole. 


No comments have yet been made