g lack of evidence that Taylor and Brown supply for their analysis, including data that correlates, but does not necessitate causation from research study on college students, incorrect assumptions about the meaning of the overly positive illusions that depressed individuals have, the overwhelming belief of depressed individuals to believe they have more control over their situation then they do, and the idea that a positive belief about the future will necessitate a positive future (Colvin and Block 1994).
While all of these concepts may be see as correlated to increased positive self image, Colvin and Block suggest that while this behavior may also be typical of normal subjects, it does not compel the reader to recognize these behaviors as healthy, when current psychological practise prefers that people have a realistic self image, as apposed to a highly illusionary self image (Colvin and Block 1994).
One of the primary criticisms Colvin and Block suggest is the use of the terms “balanced” and “evenhanded.” They criticise these terms, in that Taylor and Brown do not give a definition of either term, and their meaning can be ambiguous. While Taylor and Brown’s article suggests the terms to mean “a subject ascribes to self a relatively equal number of positive and negative characteristics” (Colvin and Block 1994). Colvin and Block argue that a more realistic assumption of self would be an unequal characteristic organisation, which is a more accurate portrayal of the self (Colvin and Block 1994).
Looking at research, Colvin and Block make a strong argument for the need for realism, not illusion in mental health. While most people rate themselves as happier or better of then others, this is the result of overly broad questioning, which makes answers incomparable. When questions are focused on specific traits, the better than others effect is severely diminished (Dunning, Meyerowitz, & Holzberg, 1989). Also, while mentally healthy individuals