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Home | Events Archive | The Long-Run Effects of Psychotherapy on Depression, Beliefs, and Economic Outcomes
Seminar

The Long-Run Effects of Psychotherapy on Depression, Beliefs, and Economic Outcomes


  • Series
    CREED Seminars
  • Speaker(s)
    Frank Schilbach (MIT, United States)
  • Field
    Behavioral Economics
  • Location
    University of Amsterdam, room E0.14
    Amsterdam
  • Date and time

    May 30, 2022
    16:00 - 17:15

Please note that this time the seminar is on a Monday.

Abstract
We revisit two clinical trials that randomized depressed adults in India (n=775) to a brief course of psychotherapy or a control condition. Four to five years later, the treatment group was 11 percentage points less likely to be depressed than the control group. The more effective intervention averted 9 months of depression on average over five years and cost only $66 per recipient. Therapy changed people’s beliefs about themselves in three ways. First, it reduced their likelihood of seeing themselves as a failure or feeling bad about themselves. Second, when faced with a novel work opportunity, therapy reduced over-optimistic belief updating in response to feedback and thus reduced overconfidence. Third, it increased self-assessed levels of patience and altruism. Therapy did not increase levels of employment or consumption, possibly because of other constraints on employment in the largely female study sample.