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According to Beck (1967, 1974), depression results from a negative thinking style that alters the way people screen, differentiate, and code their environments. On the other hand, Seligman’s (1975) theory of the learned components of depression describes the factors of learned helplessness.

Utilizing Google scholar, find one article that addresses the key components of Beck’s theory of depression and one article that addresses Seligman’s theory of learned helplessness. Compare and contrast these two theories. Make sure you address issues of cognitive distortions, cognitive schemas, genetic predispositions; neurotransmitters involved in depression, pessimism, and learned helplessness. Which theory resonates for you? Why?


Beck, A. T. (1967). Depression: Clinical, experimental, and theoretical aspects. New
York, NY: Harper & Row.

Beck, A. T. (1974). The development of depression: A cognitive model. In R.
Friedman & M. Katz (Ed.), Psychology of Depression: Contemporary
Theory and Research
(pp. 3–27). Washington, DC: V. H. Winston & Sons.

Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Learned helplessness: Depression, development, and
. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman & Company.


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