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[Link] Cognitive bias modification as a treatment for depression

9 Post author: RolfAndreassen 19 November 2011 05:11AM

This seems relevant to LessWrong, both as an extreme example of how biases can hurt people and as a possible rationality technique. Depression is presumably at the outer end of some spectrum; to the extent that it's caused by cognitive mistakes, people in the middle of the spectrum should be able to benefit from undoing the same mistakes. 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111117202935.htm

Comments (4)

Comment author: hvass 19 November 2011 09:46:18AM 2 points [-]
Comment author: [deleted] 19 November 2011 05:36:37AM *  1 point [-]

Wow, I find this very interesting. From a purely retrospective, anecdotal, statistically insignificant perspective, I can see a correlation in the past few months between my training in rationality and a significant increase in my mental health and happiness.

While said correlation doesn't count as enough evidence for a significant belief update, it does make me interested in seeing the results of further research. Has this phenomenon been studied before? Any disconfirming evidence?

Comment author: Logos01 20 November 2011 12:20:17AM 1 point [-]

Has this phenomenon been studied before?

While not directly the same thing, it has been known for some time now that depression and elation affect estimates of inputs. People who are depressed will focus on negative outcomes, etc., etc.. This has all the earmarks of being a positive feedback loop. The "concreteness training" seems to have consisted of indoctrinating the trainees with the knowledge/belief that they could have affected the outcomes of negative events -- disrupting the cycle as it were.

So while yes this is interesting, it also isn't very surprising.

Comment author: Curiouskid 21 November 2011 01:56:19AM 0 points [-]

I fail to see how this is news. CBT and REBT have been around for a long time. Just goes to show that if you spend your time reading articles, you won't gain as much as if you read a book (or even better, a textbook). I hate re-reading stuff over and over in pop-psych books and in articles.