While common supposition is that depression is a result of (or results in) people have an inaccurately negative viewpoint of themselves and/or life in general, Depressive Realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority, the illusion of control and optimism bias.
Studies by psychologists Alloy and Abramson (1979) suggested that depressed people appear to have a more realistic perception of their importance, reputation, locus of control, and abilities than those who are not depressed. Especially noted was their “light-bulb” experiment, a part of their studies that consisted of depressed and non-depressed people being presented with a light-bulb and a button to press. Unknown to either group, the light bulb would go on and off independently of any pushes of the button - yet the depressed group far more accurately were able to discern this while a significant proportion of the non-depressed group felt they were exerting varying levels of control of the light bulb via the button they were pressing.
Dobson and Franche (1989) and later researchers have further supported this viewpoint with studies and similar experiments.
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