Gender, sex-type and cognitive distortion: Self-perceptions of social competence among mild depressives

Kathleen McNamara1, Gil Hackett2
1Colorado State University, United States
2University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
Cite this article:  McNamara, K., & Hackett, G. (1986). Gender, sex-type and cognitive distortion: Self-perceptions of social competence among mild depressives. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 14(1), 113-122.

Volume 14 Issue 1 | e482 | Published: February 1986 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1986.14.1.113

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In this study we investigated the relationship of gender and sex-type to the accuracy of self-perceptions of social competence in depressed and nondepressed college students. Three hundred and eighty students were initially screened and based on their diagnostic category, 82 participants (40 depressed; 42 nondepressed) were selected and randomly assigned to small discussion groups. Participants rated themselves and were rated by group peers and trained observers on a measure of social competence. Analyses of the social competence ratings by sex, sex-type, and diagnostic category revealed that the peer and self-ratings of the nondepressed participants were significantly higher than those ratings of the depressed participants. Observers failed to differentiate between the depressed and nondepressed participants on the measure of social competence; all observers’ ratings were significantly lower than peer of self-ratings. These anomalous results were explored further via post-hoc analyses. No significant gender differences or differences due to the participants’ sex-types emerged. The implications of these results for the cognitive distortion and social skills deficits theories of depression were discussed.


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