UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Mediating role of activity level in the depressive realism effect

Blanco, F; Matute, H; Vadillo Nistal, MA; (2012) Mediating role of activity level in the depressive realism effect. PLoS One , 7 , Article e46203. 10.1371/journal.pone.0046203. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
1373873.pdf
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (271kB)

Abstract

Several classic studies have concluded that the accuracy of identifying uncontrollable situations depends heavily on depressive mood. Nondepressed participants tend to exhibit an optimistic illusion of control, whereas depressed participants tend to better detect a lack of control. Recently, we suggested that the different activity levels (measured as the probability of responding during a contingency learning task) exhibited by depressed and nondepressed individuals is partly responsible for this effect. The two studies presented in this paper provide further support for this mediational hypothesis, in which mood is the distal cause of the illusion of control operating through activity level, the proximal cause. In Study 1, the probability of responding, P(R), was found to be a mediator variable between the depressive symptoms and the judgments of control. In Study 2, we intervened directly on the mediator variable: The P(R) for both depressed and nondepressed participants was manipulated through instructions. Our results confirm that P(R) manipulation produced differences in the participants’ perceptions of uncontrollability. Importantly, the intervention on the mediator variable cancelled the effect of the distal cause; the participants’ judgments of control were no longer mood dependent when the P(R) was manipulated. This result supports the hypothesis that the so-called depressive realism effect is actually mediated by the probability of responding.

Type: Article
Title: Mediating role of activity level in the depressive realism effect
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046203
Publisher version: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/...
Language: English
Additional information: © Blanco et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Support for this research was provided by the Dirección General de Investigación of the Spanish Government (Grant PSI2011-26965) and the Departamento de Educación, Universidades e Investigación of the Basque Government (Grant PI2012-56). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1373873
Downloads since deposit
92Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item