Emotional reactivity in depression: diminished responsiveness to anticipated reward but not to anticipated punishment or to nonreward or avoidance
Article first published online: 29 OCT 2008
© 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 117–122, February 2009
How to Cite
McFarland, B. R. and Klein, D. N. (2009), Emotional reactivity in depression: diminished responsiveness to anticipated reward but not to anticipated punishment or to nonreward or avoidance. Depress. Anxiety, 26: 117–122. doi: 10.1002/da.20513
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 29 OCT 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 24 APR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 4 JAN 2008
- behavioral activation;
- behavioral inhibition
Objectives: This study compared depressed and nondepressed participants' emotional reactivity to anticipated reward, anticipated punishment, failure to obtain a reward, and successful avoidance of punishment. Experimental design: This study compared residualized change scores on target emotions for currently depressed (n=19), previously depressed (n=19), and never-depressed (n=43) participants during four experimental conditions: anticipated reward (cash), anticipated punishment (cold pressor), nonreward (failure to earn cash), and avoidance (successful avoidance of a cold pressor). Principal observations: Currently depressed participants' reactivity in response to anticipated reward was significantly diminished compared with never depressed participants', and marginally diminished compared with previously depressed participants'. Currently depressed, previously depressed, and never-depressed participants did not differ significantly in their emotional reactivity to anticipated punishment or to nonreward or avoidance. Conclusions: These results suggest that depressed individuals' diminished emotional reactivity may be mainly a state effect and may be limited to anticipated reward. Depression and Anxiety, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.