Depressed Patients Have As Many Goals As Healthy People, But Describe Them In Vague Terms
Participants in the study were asked to list specific personally meaningful goals that they thought would characterize them in the future, and were given prompts such as, 'In the future it will be important for me to...'. In a second task, they were asked to list reasons why they would, and would not, achieve their goals.
Compared to non-depressed control participants, depressed individuals' goals tended to be less specific and more abstract, for example 'to be happy', rather than 'to improve my time running the local 10 km race'.. A similar reduced level of specificity was found when reasons for achieving or not reaching personal goals were analyzed. There were no significant differences in the number of goals and reasons, or the kinds of goals provided by depressed and non-depressed participants. The authors suggest that these results may help to improve psychotherapeutic approaches used to treat depression.
Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Public Library of Science. "Depressed Patients Have As Many Goals As Healthy People, But Describe Them In Vague Terms." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 17 May. 2013. Web.
29 Apr. 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/260599.php>
Public Library of Science. (2013, May 17). "Depressed Patients Have As Many Goals As Healthy People, But Describe Them In Vague Terms." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.