Are there differences in causal beliefs about depression amongst psychology students and the lay public?
Rhiannon Catherine Baglole
Swansea Metropolitan University
A shift in focus towards a better understanding of biological causes of
depression (Goldstein & Rosselli, 2003), raises the question of whether the
lay public perceive the aetiology of depression to be biological, psychological
or socio-cultural in nature.
ascertain whether the lay publics’ causal beliefs surrounding depression
reflect the biopsychosocial model.
The sample will contain 60 people: 30 psychology and counselling students from
a South Wales university and 30 members of the general public. A previously
published vignette depicting a person with depression will be provided and
participants asked to label the mental disorder described. Participants will
then be asked to rate the potential causes, capturing the three elements of the
biopsychosocial model, using a Likert scale of one to five.
results: The hypothesis is that the lay public will be more likely to attribute
socio-cultural causes to depression whereas psychology and counselling students
will be more likely to consider the wider biopsychosocial explanations of depression.