Variability in lay perceptions of depression: a vignette study

S.D. Heim, J.M. Smallwood, J.B. Davies

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 pages10
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

Keywords

  • variability
  • lay perceptions
  • depression
  • vignette study

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