July 4, 2020
Cultural representation and mood disorders

From the article: "Can cultural representations be used to therapeutic effect in the treatment of mood disorders like depression and anxiety? This article develops a theoretical framework that outlines how this might be achieved by way of mid-level cultural metrics that allow otherwise heterogeneous forms of representation to be grouped together. Its prediction is that abstract representations—as measured by Shannon entropy—will impact positively on anxiety, where concrete representations will positively impact on depression. The background to the prediction comes from construal level theory, a branch of social psychology that deals with the effects of abstraction on psychological distance; the types of cultural representations analysed include image, narrative and film. With a view to evaluating the hypothesis, the article surveys the empirical literature in art therapy, creative bibliotherapy and cinema therapy."