PSYC 2040 Lecture Notes - Amplified Bible, Beck Depression Inventory, Sports Game

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28 Jan 2013
-1Lecture #29
Mental Disorders (part III)
Ÿ(Not responsible for post traumatic syndrome from last lecture slides)
ŸDepression is one of the most profound human experience because it is fundamentally about loss
ŸDepression involves wide range of symptoms, core features are persistent feelings of sadness, despair,
unpleasant mood, persistent inability to take routine or pleasurable activities
ŸTwo sides of face of depression, persistent of sadness and anti anehidonia (lack of pleasure or joy)
ŸDisturbances of sleep, appetite, difficulty with concentration, fatigue
ŸWhy do we as a species seem to have this predisposition, to become distressed (like how anxiety was
important to adapting to our environment) but what function does depression serve?
ŸWhat might be some of the reasons to why we are depressed
ŸEvolutionary theory is the least disputed theory, organized principle and framework for all of the life
sciences, it postulates that there is variation in our design of features, some of us are taller, shorter,
weaker, stronger
ŸSome of these design features are heritable (biological basis, we pass then on to our offspring)
ŸNot all features are heritable, and to the extent that some of us have designed features equip us to our
peers to make us more superior, allow some to be better suited in environment, reproduce better,
survive longer
ŸThose designed features that work well are passed along, the ones that don’t work well tend to die off,
and over time the more useful features tend to spread, so long as the environment and the problems in
the environment are the same, the features become typical of the species (universal to all humans)
ŸThings that seem to be good, overtime become typical of the species, what the species is known for,
e.g. the giraffe and their elongated necks
ŸIf we look at our species today and see something that is universal, its possible that that thing evolved,
and was adapted, since we all have it
ŸWe as a species have a peculiar universal, the capacity to be sad
ŸIf you study any group of people, at some point, everyone will report being sad, we as a species are not
vulnerable to this feeling, we all feel sad
ŸSet of circumstances that can make anyone sad, universal, capacity of being sad and depressed, none of
us are immune, if that’s the case, perhaps there is some function of this, why is it that at species has
this predisposition
ŸDepression is intermittently so maladaptive, very unproductive, less socialized, there are a lot of things
depressed people do that seem almost intermittently maladaptive, so how could this be an evolved trait
ŸThe rank theory or social competition theory of depression, rank theorists think that over the course of
human evolution, resources were in scarceness, reproductively related to resources, food, territory,
things that matter to our survival and reproduction was not in abundance, not enough to go around
ŸAs a result, members of the same species must compete for them, out of such competition for
resources, hierarchy emerges, some members will win more often than lose (top of the hierarchy)
ŸHierarchy is a summary of your wins to losses
ŸAnd those who emerge at the top, have priority of access to all of resources
ŸHierarchy is a feature of just about any social organized species (a universal concept), so not surprising
that most species seemed to have evolved particular behavioural strategies to pursue hierarchy
ŸTo become equipped with competitive behaviours, two basic strategies involving strategies to escalate
and de-escalate competition
ŸWe are either going to pick a fight with someone, or surrender
ŸTo escalate a fight, this is a strategy we use when we can beat our competitor, when we are socially
higher and more stronger, to someone who is inferior to us, we fight back
ŸAnd if our competitor is more superior, stronger, we escape, run away, or surrender
ŸSometimes escape is not an option, if this is the limit, you can only fight or run away, the losing
member who wants to escape but is cornered, so all it can do is fight (even thought they know they will
lose. Risk being n=injured and killed|)
ŸIt would benefit if there was an alternate strategy to these two, when loss is predicted, but escape is not
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