New Study Explores Connection Between Depression and Political Perceptions and Behaviors

 / 

Depression and Political Perceptions

In a groundbreaking study conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool and Stanford University, the intricate relationship between depression and political perceptions has come under scrutiny.

The study, published in the field of Political Psychology, delves into the complex interplay between pandemic-related stress, depression, and political perceptions, shedding light on how our mental health influences our views on politics.

With depression affecting over 280 million people globally, understanding its broader implications has become increasingly important. Previous research hinted at a potential link between depression and political attitudes, but a comprehensive framework to explore this relationship was lacking.

This study aims to bridge that gap by proposing a cognitive model to investigate how depression shapes political perceptions.

Lead author Luca Bernardi, a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Liverpool, emphasized the significance of understanding the impact of depression on political attitudes.

“For decades, psychologists have studied how depression changes our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us,” Bernardi explained.

“Despite the omnipresence of politics in everyday life, political perceptions have been largely overlooked. Our task is to understand how depression may influence people’s perceptions of their own ability to engage in politics and how they view representative government.”

The cognitive model developed by the researchers posits that life stressors can trigger depressive symptoms, which then influence political perceptions through specific cognitive processes.

These processes include brooding, a form of negative repetitive thinking, and negativity biases in news selection, where individuals tend to prefer negative over positive news.

To test this model, the researchers conducted an online survey among a representative sample of 1,692 British adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2021. The survey measured various factors, including pandemic-related stress, depressive symptoms, cognitive processes, and political attitudes.

The findings confirmed a significant association between COVID-19-related stressors and symptoms of depression. Individuals experiencing higher levels of depressive symptoms were more likely to engage in brooding and exhibit negativity biases in news selection.

These cognitive processes, in turn, were linked to political attitudes such as internal political efficacy, trust in the government, and satisfaction with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Surprisingly, the study did not find a direct link between brooding and political attention. Instead, the researchers discovered that depressive symptoms may influence political attention through negativity biases in news selection. This suggests that depression may not necessarily reduce interest in politics but could lead to political avoidance.

While the study provides valuable insights into the relationship between depression and political attitudes, the researchers caution against drawing firm causal conclusions due to the observational nature of the study. They also highlight the need for future research to explore causal relationships and the role of cognitive regulation processes in mediating the link between depression and politics.

Despite these limitations, the study underscores the importance of considering mental health factors in understanding political attitudes and behaviors. By unraveling the complex interplay between depression and politics, researchers aim to provide valuable insights for policymakers and mental health practitioners alike.

As efforts continue to address the challenges posed by depression, understanding its impact on political perceptions remains an important area of study.


— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

New Study Reveals Link Between Depression, Anorexia, and Gut Microbiota

Depression and Political Perceptions

A recent study published in BMC Psychiatry sheds light on a potential connection between major depressive disorder (MDD), anorexia, and gut microbiota. Led by researchers at the First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, the study suggests that individuals with both depression and anorexia exhibit distinct patterns in their gut bacteria, particularly involving the presence of a specific bacterium called Blautia.

Depression, characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in daily activities, affects millions worldwide and is often accompanied by a high risk of suicide. Anorexia, marked by reduced appetite and distorted body image, commonly co-occurs with depression, complicating treatment efforts.

Gut Bacteria’s Role in Depression and Anorexia

Up Next

Beyond Chemical Imbalances: Researchers Shed Light on Social Root Causes Of Depression

Depression and Political Perceptions

In a recent letter to the editor published in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers led by Joanna Moncrieff present a compelling argument challenging the conventional understanding of depression. They assert that rather than being solely attributed to chemical imbalances in the brain, and discuss the social root causes of depression.

According to Moncrieff et al., the evidence for brain differences in depression is lacking, while there is substantial support for the influence of social and environmental factors on mental health.

They argue that the circumstances of life, such as stress and adversity, play a more significant role in shaping depressive symptoms than neuro

Up Next

Study Reveals Presence of Microplastics in Human Brain: Concerns Rise Over Health Implications

Depression and Political Perceptions

In a groundbreaking revelation, researchers from the University of New Mexico have discovered microplastics infiltrating human brain tissue, as reported in a study published in the journal Environment Health Perspectives. The study sheds light on the pervasive presence of microplastics in various organs of the body, including the kidneys, liver, and brain.

Eliseo Castillo, an associate professor leading the research, underscores the widespread distribution of microplastics in the environment, emphasizing their presence in water sources, food items, and even the air we breathe.

Previous studies have estimated that individuals ingest approximately five grams of microplastics weekly, equivalent to the weight of a credit card.

Up Next

Study Reveals Significant Genetic Link Between Treatment-Resistant Depression and Family History

Depression and Political Perceptions

In a groundbreaking study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers have uncovered a substantial genetic link between treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and family history.

Led by Dr. Cheng-Ta Li, a professor of medicine at the National Yang-Ming Chiao Tung University in Taipei, Taiwan, the study utilized extensive national health insurance data to investigate the transmission of TRD across generations and its association with other psychiatric disorders.

The findings of the study are particularly significant, as they shed light on the hereditary nature of TRD and its implications for early intervention and treatment.

Up Next

FDA Clears Prescription Digital Therapeutic for Adults with Major Depressive Disorder

Depression and Political Perceptions

The FDA has recently cleared a groundbreaking prescription digital therapeutic, known as Rejoyn, for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) symptoms in adults. This innovative therapy, developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in collaboration with Click Therapeutics Inc., aims to provide adjunctive care for individuals who have been prescribed antidepressants as part of clinician-managed outpatient treatment.

Rejoyn is a 6-week treatment program designed to assist individuals aged 22 years and older in regulating their emotions through a combination of clinically validated cognitive training exercises and therapeutic lessons.

The therapy utilizes digital platforms to deliver pe

Up Next

Sweet Science: How Chocolate’s Theobromine May Aid Weight Loss and Alzheimer’s Prevention

Depression and Political Perceptions

A recent study conducted by researchers at Zhengzhou University in China suggests that indulging in chocolate could offer various health benefits, including weight loss assistance and Alzheimer’s prevention.

Published in the Journal of Functional Foods, the study highlights the potential of a chemical compound found in chocolate called theobromine to positively impact both the body and the brain.

Theobromine, present in cocoa beans, boasts anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants, making it beneficial for brain health. According to scientists, this compound can protect against Alzhei

Up Next

New Study Finds High Genetic Risk for Obesity May Require Over 14,500 Daily Steps

Depression and Political Perceptions

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open reveals a significant association between genetic risk for obesity and the amount of physical activity required to mitigate the risk.

Led by Dr. Evan Brittain, associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the study analyzed data from 3,124 participants in the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program to explore the link between genetic predisposition to obesity and recommended step counts for reducing the genetic risk of developing the condition.

Findings from the study indicate that individuals with a higher genetic risk of obesity may need to undertake more physical activity