Talk:Evolutionary approaches to depression

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I have concerns about the "honest signaling theory" as it implies that depression is manipulative, and encourages the negative social stigma which makes life all the more difficult for the mentally ill. Citations aside, is it entirely ethical to endorse these theories by giving them voice here?

Loupdebois (talk) 21:25, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I think the whole thing is bunk, myself, but it all appears to be properly sourced and verifiable. It may, however, be a WP:FRINGE theory, and the article has some issues which I'll take it for regarding neutrality and being unbalanced. AnmaFinotera (talk) 21:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Your concerns just seem to be shooting the messenger. I'm taking the tags off as they don't seem justified, especially the academic one. Colonel Warden (talk) 11:19, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I took the tags off and AnmaFinotera reverted immediately. So let's take this apart:

a) the first tag is notability/Academics. This is obviously inappropriate as the article is not about an academic person. Whoever placed the tag either didn't read it or didn't understand it.

b) the second tag is refimprove. This seems inappropriate because the article has already achieved a good standard by having a cite for each paragraph. Since AnmaFinotera acknowledges that the article is "properly sourced", the presence of this tag is likewise baffling.

c) then we have totally-disputed. This tag seems to be based upon AnmaFinotera's view that the whole thing is bunk. But unlike the article's statements, AnmaFinotera's view is not supported by any evidence.

So, all I'm seeing here is some crude mud-slinging. If you wish any of these tags to remain please list the exact issues behind each of them so they can be addressed and fixed.

Colonel Warden (talk) 20:38, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I've fixed the notability tag. I don't know why it choose Academics when I tagged it, but you are correct, it should just be set to general notability. It is tagged for ref improve because almost all of the references are from Neese and Hagan. For totally disputed, it is. Almost all of it comes from two sources and in my own searching, I couldn't find too many others that support the idea. That makes it a WP:FRINGE theory, which requires a lot more sourcing from a greater variety of places and people to make it notable for inclusion. AnmaFinotera (talk) 22:10, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I just added two more sources so that each paragraph now has at least two separate sources to support it. And there's clearly a substantial body of work covering this field. For example, we have The Maladapted Mind: Classic Readings in Evolutionary Psychopathology which is extensively cited. Please produce some evidence that this is fringe or otherwise controversial. Currently we don't seem to have anything more than your own personal opinion. Colonel Warden (talk) 23:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Show that those sources very specifically discuss this theory with regards to clinical depression, and make sure you aren't presuming they support the text and adding as citations without having actually read the text yourself. And, FYI, you are thus far the only one to actually say anything in support of this, so no, it is not just my personal opinion. I carefully read the WP:FRINGE page before tagging it, and did some search of own for this specific topic. Sources must specifically support this idea that the stuff mentioned in this article are related to a theory that there are evolutionary advantages of clinical depression. What parts of those sources I read seem to discussion the evolution of depression in humanity, not just that it it has evolutionary advantages. There is a difference.
With further regards to neutrality, this article is completely in support of the theory, while not offering anything regarding criticisms of the theory. That is an unbalanced and non-neutral view. AnmaFinotera (talk) 01:21, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Since I didn't write this article, I am obviously not the only editor who supports the content. My additions have been properly researched. Please attend to your own unsupported allegation. I have left the neutrality tag for now to allow you time to substantiate this but shall return. Colonel Warden (talk) 18:25, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
It is on the shoulders of those claiming notability to prove it, not the other way around. The start of this article is buried some in the clinical depression history, but since its break off, few editors have done anything with it, and I'm not the first to express these concerns. If you feel so strongly it actually has merit, then I'd suggest doing the work and finding a greater range of sources for the concept to prove it is notable and not just a WP:FRINGE theory that has no place here. And why is it that you claim above you left the neutrality tag in, when in reality you had already removed it again. AnmaFinotera (talk) 19:29, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Notability is already demonstrated by an extensive range of reliable sources. I am a veteran of AFD and your chances of getting this article deleted for this reason are negligible in my experience. Retaining this tag is therefore just time-wasting. Since the article has excellent sources, the onus is on you to do more than slap unsubstantiated tags upon it. I have already made significant improvements to the article by adding sources and blue links. Your reverts are comparatively lazy and your claim that I did not leave the neutrality tag in is false, as can readily seen by checking the edit history. Colonel Warden (talk) 20:02, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
If you left it there, then why did I have to add it back? An no, the onus is on you. The sources are limited and come almost entirely from only 2-3 people, supporting the idea it is a fringe theory. It isn't my job to fix a bad article that seems to have no notability and is a FRINGE theory, but you've yet to really do anything to address that. Rewording the lead to be even less neutral and adding a single source is not a significant improvement. AnmaFinotera (talk) 21:43, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I can't explain your editing blindness - I can see the tag in my version when I look. I have added two citations to journals of record: The Times and New York Times. We now have multiple references to books, journals and mainstream media. Please indicate what number of sources is required to satisfy you? Colonel Warden (talk) 23:14, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
It is still violating neutrality. It is purely pro-theory, both in name and content. To be neutral, it also needs to include, at the minimum, a section discussing opposing views. As for my "blindness" see your edit removing the tag} and [ mine putting it back AnmaFinotera (talk) 23:22, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
The totally-disputed tag appears on both sides of that diff. Perhaps you can't see for looking. Since you are now only concerned with neutrality, can we remove the other tags now? Colonel Warden (talk) 23:56, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Never mind, I was referring to the notability tag. AnmaFinotera (talk) 01:18, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Resetting the margin. The totally-disputed tag is the neutrality tag - same thing. You have now added an unencyclopedic tag. I am removing this because the topic appears in the Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science and so it is demonstrably encyclopedic. If, as it seems, you think this article should be deleted, then please just take it to AFD where we can dispose of the matter without further ado. Colonel Warden (talk) 07:45, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Notice, however, that the encyclopedia you linked uses a NEUTRAL title of "Evolutionary Approaches to Understanding Depression" and doesn't appear to proclaim it is advantageous (though who knows for sure as that is a paid to read encyclopedia). The unencyclopedic is a perfectly acceptable tag for THIS article, as it does not have the same topic as that one. It is not neutral, and only pushes a single side and is basically a fluff piece on what still appears to be a WP:FRINGE theory. I put the unencyclopedic tag rather than just AfD because you seem so passionate about this topic for whatever reason, so I'm trying to give you a fair chance to address the issues. AnmaFinotera (talk) 07:51, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
An evolutionary approach must inherently hypothesise advantages. The disadvantages of depression are fairly obvious. An evolutionary view therefore concentrates upon the countervailing advantages which stop the trait from being evolved out of the population and encourage its development. The key word is evolutionary and the supplemental term such as view/approach/theory/hypothesis is unimportant. Your idea that there is an evolutionary approach in which depression has no advantages seems to be either OR or just illogical. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Renaming as Evolutionary Approaches to Understanding Depression[edit]

Note: I didn't mean to mark the undoing of your edits as vandalism. Damn mouse jumped as I was clicking. I have, however, undone your edits. You can't claim that encyclopedia as a reference when you have not read the article. For all either of us knows, it says the whole idea is silly and non-existant, or disproves the theory being pushed here. While I agree, if it stays, the article needs a more neutral name, that is not the only neutrality issue (so removing the tag was not appropriate). Nor should you just rename the article without discussing it or by just using the name taken from an article you haven't read. Your renamed article was also not named properly by Wikipedia naming conventions. On an additional note, as you and I are the only ones talking about this, and it seems obvious we are not going to agree, I've submitted a request for a third opinion. AnmaFinotera (talk) 08:08, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

You seem to be using an editing tool which causes you to make frequent errors/misunderstandings. This is the third so far. The renaming was discussed above. Your proposal coincided with my thoughts and so I implemented what seemed to be agreement at last. We don't need to read the article in detail since the point in question is whether this is a good encyclopedic name for the topic. I'm off to work now but shall return. Colonel Warden (talk) 08:46, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

No, the renaming was not "discussed" above, it was mentioned (and it was my first on this article and don't act like you never make mistakes). That is not a good encyclopedic name by Wikipedia naming conventions. If it were to be used, it should Evolutionary approaches to understanding depression, and we did not "agree" that it was a good name. You just went ahead and did it, without even naming it properly. Note: I've put this under the under discussion as it pertains to the areas of disagreement. AnmaFinotera (talk) 15:13, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
So do you want that title or not? Colonel Warden (talk) 17:25, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
No...I was just showing the problem with yours. That one is kinda long, but I can't think of a shorter way to way it. AnmaFinotera (talk) 18:05, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
It is not my title - it is the title that I found in an existing encyclopedia. It is the same length as the current title - five words - and you say yourself that it is more neutral. Colonel Warden (talk) 10:48, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
It is more neutral, yes, but that doesn't make it a great name. Different encyclopedias use different naming schemas. It is better than the current one, but I'd also like to explore other options before making the change. Is evolution and depression discussed elsewhere in a neutral sense? How do they refer to the topic? AnmaFinotera (talk) 15:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

Per the plea posted at Wikipedia:Third opinion, here is what I think:

  • The article's sources look okay to me, although I count only six authors, some cited multiple times.
  • Neutrality doesn't mean one must present opposing views. An article about the theory of gravitation, for example, doesn't need opposing views; including them would be a violation of WP:UNDUE. Similarly, if opposing views for the subject of this article are difficult to find or otherwise not notable, then it is only necessary to include them in proportion to their value and acceptance by experts in the field.
  • That said, it would be nice to see alternative approaches or points of view (not necessarily "opposition") written about this subject by other experts in the field. In that sense, the NPOV tag may be justified. I'd say leave it in.
  • As for the "unencyclopedic" tag, I'd say take it out. Although I am unfamiliar with the subject, I think we assume that the subject isn't obscure in the field of mental health. We have articles on subject within my own professional field that others would consider obscure, but are still important subjects in my field. The same may be true here.
  • I agree with renaming the article, although Wikipedia convention on article names says we capitalize only proper names. We don't use "title case" with every noun and verb capitalized.

Hope this helps. -Amatulić (talk) 20:10, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your input which I trust will help us forward. Colonel Warden (talk) 23:14, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I think this is an important and interesting article. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

As a reader I also found this article interesting, informative and impressively well-referenced. I've read a bit about evolutionary psychology in the past (enough to realise that it's controversial and often speculative) but I don't remember reading anything about depression before. I'm not that keen on the current name either though. What about Evolutionary psychology of depression? Seems neutral and brief but precise. I'm not sure it's necessary or accurate to specify clinical depression in the title – as indicated currently in the last sentence of the "psychic pain hypothesis" section, clinical depression may be a dysfunctional extreme. Redirects can of course be created from other things people might search for, such as "evolutionary origins of depression" and less precise phrases like "evolution of depression", "evolution and depression" etc. Qwfp (talk) 18:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC).

Behavioral Shutdown Model[edit]

Should the Behavioral Shutdown Model be incorporated into this article, as well?

Henriques, G. (year?). Depression: Disease or Behavioral Shutdown Mechanism?. Journal of Health and Science Policy

EPM (talk) 17:04, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I've added a section for this, as it happens to match my own preconceptions while the other models make no sense to me. Wnt (talk) 03:23, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Excellent book that deals with this topic[edit]

Spitzer, Robert J.; Horwitz, Allan V.; Jerome C. Wakefield (2007). The loss of sadness: how psychiatry transformed normal sorrow into depressive disorder. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-531304-6.  Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:14, 8 August 2009 (UTC)


For each of these theories, a critique ought to be added because every one of them sounds more fantastic then the previous one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree! (talk) 06:37, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

this is a minority viewpoint theory?[edit]

This is an article about a theory..and it doesn't look to be a theory of scientific consensus. In wikipedian terms it would be minority viewpoint. The intro is in essay format and should be changed in style and also change to identify these facts and where the theory came from.--scuro (talk) 19:11, 28 December 2010 (UTC)