Variability in lay perceptions of depression: A vignette study

Derek Heim*, Jonathan Smallwood, John B. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes a study investigating lay perceptions of depression in terms of perceived severity. Students (N = 128) were presented with vignettes describing individuals with symptoms of depression based on DSM-IV. The descriptions were varied in terms of gender, social status, and a self-referent manner of communicating depressive symptomatology. Participants were asked to rate the degree to which vignette characters were thought to be depressed on a Likert-type scale. Results indicate that a non-self-referent style of communicating depressive symptoms by female vignette characters was seen as an indication of elevated levels of depression, and these findings are discussed with reference to the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2005

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