Purpose: Research evidence supports both neurobiological and psychosocial causes of depression. According to some studies, explaining depression from a biological viewpoint decreases negative evaluation of depressed people, but other studies have found that biological information leads to increased negative perceptions. We examined whether the type of causal attribution impacts perceptions surrounding depression. Methods: We used randomized controlled vignettes to examine the effects of biological and/or psychological causal attribution on responsibility attribution, controllability attribution, positive attitude toward depressed people, perceived stigma, the evaluation of the prognosis of depression, and willingness to receive treatment. Participants included 128 college students (age=20.45±1.75) and 104 depressive outpatients (age=43.63±12.91). These data were collected from May, 2008 to January 2009. Results: In the student sample, participants who received biological information had lower responsibility attribution and higher controllability attribution than participants who did not receive the biological information. In addition, biological and psychological information had interactive effects on responsibility attribution, perceived stigma, and willingness to take medicine. Receiving only biological information had the best effects on all these variables. In the patient sample, the type of information received had no effect on responsibility attribution, controllability attribution, positive attitude, perceived stigma, or willingness to seek help from medicine or counseling. However, the higher a person’s controllability attribution was, the more positive that person’s attitude toward depressed people. Conclusions: Taiwanese attribute depression of others to psychological factors. This attribution is not helpful for depression prevention. We suggest that using neurobiological information to explain depression may decrease blame of depressed people for their depression. Pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy should both be applied to treat the depression.
|Original language||Traditional Chinese|
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||Chinese Journal of Mental Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- controllability attribution
- responsibility attribution