Disclaimer: English Kinda Thing

The sole purpose of the "English Kinda Thing" is to document my attempts to correct my own mistakes in standard English usage and to share the resources I find. In no way do I attempt to teach nobody English through these blurbs--just as I intend not to teach nobody to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds! :-)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Paterson & Seligman (1987). Helplessness and attributional style in depression

After reading this article, one thing came to my mind... if you can figure out the process of becoming, you might be able to figure out how to disrupt the process of becoming, loosen its structure, and hopefully, get it at least partially deconstructed.

The purposes of the models and theories... I guess... for a good reason.

An interesting question I had... other than I am also neurotic and started my mental career as a depressive... what good does the attributional style in depression do in my pursuit to understand my psychosis?  After my disordered head got my head all fried because it insisted on my squeezing something out of my overdosed head and not allowed me to leave it like it...  I came up with the following... 


  • Locus of control: I reverted the Apocalypse... didn't I? 8-O
  • Limelight effect: Who is being watched by all beings in all multiverses?
  • Impact: People couldn't stop hearing the thoughts being broadcasted from my head.

Though not exhaustive, the three capture the attributional style under the self-dimension.  The manifestation of the attributional pattern is dependent on the mental state.  Is the attributional style the precursor of psychosis?  Donno.

Paterson, Christopher, & Seligman, Martin E.P. (1987). Helplessness and attributional style in depression. In F. E. Weinert & R. Kluwe (Eds.), Metacognition, motivation, and understanding (pp. 185-215). Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Original helplessness theory: Uncontrollable events-->expectancy of response-outcome independence-->interference with learning

The reformulation
"people have a characteristic attributional style or a tendency to make similar sorts of attributions about a variety of events." (p. 190)

"Theoretically, a depressive attributional style is one that habitually attributes bad events to internal, stable, and global causes." (p. 190)

"Attributional=> pertaining to the causal inferences made by people.

As a psychotic, I surely have the attributional style to constantly see everything is about me.

The authors described a study comparing the attributional style among the depressives, surgical patients and schizophrenics using the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ), which required the participants to indicate what the causes of events might be.  The hypothetical events include good events such as "you do a project which is highly praised" and negative events such as "you meet a friend who acts hostilely towards you."  The participants were also asked to respond to questions aiming to assess the internal, stable and global dimensions.

The following as the results.

This study absolutely caught my attention because it included the psychotics as part of the study and led me to wonder how the mental state of the psychotics might have an impact on the study result.  Take the good event for instance "you do a project which is highly praised" for example, referencing the way I thought when institutionalized or right out of the hospital (that kind of mental state), the first thing that would come into my paranoid delusional mind with grandiosity might be things like... "The institution is studying Me. They are testing me and observing Me.  How would they use this information on me?" Were I a participant, I wonder worldviews like this might bias my response pattern since it might be perceived by me as a mind game... sort of like 007 kinda thing... Also, however well written a question might be... if we could see David Letterman on TV and think that he is talking to us, we surely have the potential to read the questions and interpret it as something else, I guess.  What all these boils down to, I guess, is... with the responses, are you sure the questions psychotics respond to are the ones you posed?

Nowadays, life is simpler for there is only one way to think... who gives a rat's ass about me?  Responding to  questionnaires?  The feel.

Would the outcomes be similar?  Donno.

Love the following wording:

"In order to find the answer, it is suggested the controversy be moved from arm chair or the couch to an explicit empirical domain." (p. 197)

"... changes in attributional style should accompany successful therapy for depression... To date, as a consequence of therapy, changes in attributional style have not been documented; however, there is some case history evidence regarding such changes." (p. 201)

I have lived through many a night when I prayed to God to let me wake up not... Ya... that is very depressive. (Changes in depressive symptom level).  In terms of the dimensions of internality, stability, and globality, confounded by my grandiosity, I decided to always treat all success as luck and all failures as my bad.  Interpersonal issues like "you meet a friend who acts hostilely towards you"... somebody slept on the wrong side of the bed.

If attricutional pattern can be shaped, whether it can be changed or not, I surely hope I can come up with something else to counterbalance its effect.

"The learned helplessness model does not claim that dispositional attributional style will always override situational determinants of attributions, so attention must be paid to whether or not the situational constraints were weak enough to allow attributional style to do its dirty work." (p. 206)

Forget about the issue of whether attributional style is stable... even if it is... it's nothing like dooms day since situation, situation, situation... and aren't we the ones creating our own situations (So they say about the probabilistic quantum world-- up to a certain degree, of course)!

"The learned helplessness model assumes that people operate logically with their attributional premises; however, a great deal of recent research has demonstrated that normative models of information processing are sometimes inaccurate descriptions of what people actually do." (p. 209)

Thank God.  Now I feel less ab-normal since there seem to be some great amount of variance within the norm of the norm.  8-O 

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