Chemical & Hormones (Mary and VonLyn)
Determine how chronic stress (biological wise) becomes a fuel for depression in rats as a determinant for the biological cause of depression in humans.

Target Population
- Participants

Male and female rats

- Sample

30, 30 respectively


1. Inject rats with stress hormones
2. Inject half of the samples with salt water
3. Test for reaction to an open field, capture, thrown in water, predator odor.


a. (in rats) males are more susceptible to being depressed after being injected
b. Strong correlation between injection of hormones and stress level

Ethics (did the research process raise any ethical issues?)

Unethical to test on humans, so rats were used instead.

Adelson, R. (2005, January). Hard-hitting hormones: The stress-depression link. Retrieved August 30, 2009,
from APA Online Web site:

Chemicals and Hormones - Val and Jaime

Bright Lights, Big Relief - Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Aim: To relieve depression in those who have season affective disorder.

Target Population:
Participants: Anyone, both male and female and in any age group, who suffers from seasonal affective disorder.
Sample: 96 patients with winter SAD (seasonal affective disorder)

- four week study; 96 patients with winter SAD to one of three bright-light treatments that are about 10 to 20 times brighter than ordinary indoor lights
- patients got either an hour and a half of bright light in the morning, an hour and a half in the evening, or a morning placebo of two deactivated negative-ion generators

- after three weeks; more people in the morning light treatment group than in the placebo group showed significantly complete or more complete remission of their symptoms
- people in the night light treatment also had slightly better results than those in the placebo group
- “effective phototherapy fostered full remission of depression” (Eastman, 1998)

- No ethical issues; humane experiment with positive results

(2006, June 26). Bright lights, big relief. Retrieved September 1, 2009, from American Psychological Association Web site:

Henry Chen and Tommy Fritz
Aim: To understand post-partem depression
Target Population: Females
-Participants: female rodents
-Sample: Unstated
Procedure: Injecting key hormones directly into the brains of female lab rats, hormones and peptides such as strogen, progesterone, oxytocin and vasopressin
Findings: Researchers could make poor parents out of rats and other rodents by restricting those same hormones. So these hormones are indeed responsible for post-partem depression.
Ethics: Aside from what could be called minor animal cruelty practiced on lab rats, none.

Azar, B. (2009). The postpartum cuddles: Inspired by hormones?.Monitor on Psychology, 33, Retrieved August 31, 2009, from