Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People with depression tend to pursue generalized goals

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Researchers have found that people with depression have more generalized personal goals than non-depressed people.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that people with depression have more generalised personal goals than non-depressed people.

A study conducted by Dr Joanne Dickson, in the University's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, analysed the lists of personal goals made by people who suffered with depression and those who didn't.

List personal goals

The participants were asked to list goals they would like to achieve at any time in the short, medium or long-term. The goals were categorised for their specificity -- for example a global or abstract goal such as, 'to be happy' would represent a general goal, whereas, a goal such as 'improve my 5-mile marathon time this summer' would represent a more specific goal.

Researchers found that whilst both groups generated the same number of goals, people with depression listed goals which were more general and more abstract. The study also found that depressed people were far more likely to give non-specific reasons for achieving and not achieving their goals.

Having very broad and abstract goals may maintain and exacerbate depression. Goals that are not specific are more ambiguous and, therefore, harder to visualise. If goals are hard to visualise it may result in reduced expectation of realising them which in turn results in lower motivation to try and achieve them.

Dr Joanne Dickson said: "We know that depression is associated with negative thoughts and a tendency to overgeneralise, particularly in reference to how people think about themselves and their past memories."

"This study, for the first time, examined whether this trait also encompasses personal goals. We found that the goals that people with clinical depression listed lacked a specific focus, making it more difficult to achieve them and therefore creating a downward cycle of negative thoughts.

Help to set specific goals

"These findings could inform the development of effective new ways of treating clinical depression.

"Helping depressed people set specific goals and generate specific reasons for goal achievement may increase their chances of realising them which could break the cycle of negativity which is coupled with depression."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "People with depression tend to pursue generalized goals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103509.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2013, July 8). People with depression tend to pursue generalized goals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103509.htm
University of Liverpool. "People with depression tend to pursue generalized goals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103509.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins