Consequences of depression according to Beck’s cognitive theory Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 May 2017

Consequences of depression according to Beck’s cognitive theory

According to Beck (1976), depression is characterized by cognitive distortions and is characterized by six features. The first one, arbitrary interference refers to the process of deriving a conclusion from a phenomenon without necessarily having evidence to support the conclusion or when the evidence available does not jell with the conclusion. Secondly, a collapse in the cognitive triad may lead to selective abstraction, which involves focusing on details that do not match with a given context while ignoring the salient features of the phenomenon at hand.

For instance, students with a negative cognitive triad will have a tendency to perceive examination questions in their own way which is not in line with the intended answer. Thirdly, the affected people also develop a habit of overgeneralization of facts. This is as situation whereby there is a tendency to create general rules to specific or even isolated instances. For example, a student of mathematics would always view particular calculations as difficult irrespective of how simplified they may be.

The fourth point is that depressed people also have tendencies to commit magnification and minimization errors while doing their tasks. This is because they usually have preformed mindsets hence any attempt to inject new knowledge is fruitless. Finally, Beck (1976) noted that depressed individuals might embrace too much personalization and become absolutistic or dichotomous in thinking. This is because of fear that the world does not like them, and that their future is always bleak- the consequences of a purely negative cognitive triad.

Personalization for instance makes parents believe that they culpable when their children misbehave. Empirical evidence for Beck’s cognitive theory There is a strong indication that the cognitive triad hypothesis indeed highlights the plight of depressed people. For instance, it could be true that depressed people report more negative thinking about themselves, their world and their future (Beck, 1976). In regard to thinking about the self, distressed people usually resort to less positive self-referent beliefs and become highly critical of themselves and their actions.

They are also likely to report a number of imagined activities and how they managed to escape from the tedious tasks (they will never attempt difficult tasks since they always have a sense of lack of confidence in themselves). The theory model therefore builds a foundation for solving psychological problems and since it has every indication that such problems have the sources within the affected individuals, it is these individuals themselves who can best afford a solution to their problems.

In essence, the model indicates that people have to change the attitudes towards themselves, the world and the future (and do so in a manner that anticipates good outcomes). Only by doing so can human beings expect a positive cognitive triad, hence positive thinking about life. Beck’s theory and accessibility Beck’s cognitive theory model proposes features that can be procedurally defined and empirically tested, the use of cognition as one of the main parameters to evaluate the behavior and response of people to various phenomena adds impetus to the model’s worth.

In spite of the fact that the model does not describe all cognitive processes, it still highlights the varying levels of thoughts and has an assumption that all thoughts associated with psychological abnormalities are spontaneous and just close to consciousness. Another assumption of Beck’s cognitive theory is that individuals can be trained to in order to be able to access the products of their faulty information processing. How this is possible is however amenable to discussion since individuals have different levels of grasping skills and exist in different environments.

In short, it may not be possible to train all individuals to be able to trace back their faults and therefore identify their shortcomings. How personality types are created Beck’s theory has evolved over time and one of the most significant modifications it has gone through is its ability to explain differences in personality. According to the theory, people have individual differences that determine the types of events that may cause depression episodes in them.

For example, a “sociotropic” personality is a type where the person concerned bases his or her self-belief in how others regard him or her or talk of his or her actions. For such a person, a perceived snub from a trusted person (like a close friend) is enough cause of a high level of depression. Another kind of personality, according to Beck, is the “autonomous” type. Such people feel challenged and depressed when their expectations of being in control over situations are challenged, for instance in losing a match where there were high chances of winning.

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