ERIC Number: ED243042
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Risky Decision in Depression: Sad Schemas Produce Unexpected Utility Values.
Hartman, David E.; McKirnan, David J.
Recent models of depression have shown differences in information processing to be important concomitants of depressed affect. To determine whether the cognitive distortion found in depressed individuals extends beyond self-evaluation and interpersonal evaluation into abstract decision making, 288 college students completed the Beck Depression Inventory and a variety of experimental materials, including a risky decision task in which they circled their preference in each of 30 pairs of monetary risk. An analysis of the results showed significantly different risk preference patterns for depressed and non-depressed subjects. Non-depressed subjects were considered "good riskers" in choosing maximum expected value gains and minimum expected value losses. Non-depressed subjects also exhibited the reflection effect and reversed their preferences when prospects became negative. Depressed subjects failed to show either the pattern of prospect selection shown by the non-depressed subjects, or a significant reflection effect within their own pattern of prospect selection. The poor planning ability and risk taking strategy of predepressive children may have implications for later depression and learned helplessness. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).