Some Theories of Abnormal Affect Take a Nature Perspective Whereas Others Take a Nurture Perspective. Use Evidence to Justify Why Either Nature/Nurture Is More Important in Explaining Abnormal Affect. [12]

Topics: Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Learned helplessness Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Some theories of abnormal affect take a nature perspective whereas others take a nurture perspective. Use evidence to justify why either nature/nurture is more important in explaining abnormal affect. [12]

The nature/nurture debate is concerned with the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a product of either inherited (i.e. genetic) or acquired (i.e. learned) characteristics. Nature is that which is inherited / genetic. Nurture which refers to all environmental influences after conception, i.e. experience. The nurture perspective suggests that learned helplessness plays a role in explaining depression. Seligman and Maier (1967) found that the effects of learned helplessness in animals were similar to the symptoms of depression in human. For example, animals that had been trained to be helpless passively accepted their situation and showed other symptoms of depression. Seligman’s study has led to many lab experiments with humans in an attempt to discover whether people that were trained to be helpless would act accordingly and display symptoms of depression. The theory of learned helplessness has produced a plausible explanation of the relationship between helplessness, attributional style and depression. A lot of research supports this theory. However, there has been some concern about Seligman’s application of research from non-human animals to humans. Evidence from animal studies cannot be generalized to humans, though it can provide important leads. Additionally, much of the evidence for humans comes from laboratory experiments in which the participants are college students and are therefore unrepresentative. Furthermore, Abramson et al. (1978) updated Seligman’s learned helplessness theory to include the attributions that people make of their own behavior. An attribution is an explanation of why something happens. People suffering from depression tend to make internal, global and stable attributions and blames themselves for their failures....
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