Do analogue samples in depression research advance meaningfully our knowledge of
depression and its treatment?
• College students are not representative of the population (higher socioeconomic status,
narrow age group, etc) Therefore it isn’t generalizable to the population.
• The life events of college students are different then clinically depressed people (taking
exams vs. divorce etc.) and are not as severe (therefore college students are facing
distress instead of depression)
• Symptoms suffered from college students are different then clinically depressed people
(ex. Loss of pleasure: anhedonia is not in college students, but is seen in clinically
depressed people) Therefore, there are qualitative differences.
• Most college students feel a less severe form of depression than clinically depressed
people (quantitative differences)
• There is comorbidity of depression with other disorders like anxiety. Therefore, when you
do standardized testing (Self-reports) there is no psychologist there to probe you to find
out if it is depression or other disorders. Psychologists use clinical interviews to diagnose
depression for clinically depressed people, but this is not used for college students in
research (mainly standardized testing). Could this be fixed if college students were
• College students have more internal validity, but poor external validity (not generalizable
to the population)
• Regression to the mean with college students self-reports...when retested the results go
towards the mean (but measures and methods are fixable)
• Metabolic issues can be different for older people than college students, therefore
treatment should be different (medi