The colors of depression : is it more than just being blue? : an exploration of emotional reactivity in depression
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Two studies are presented which expand on previous research on the Emotion Context Insensitivity (ECI) hypothesis evident in Major Depressive Disorder. Specifically, these studies address limitations of this research by examining the emotional reactivity of depressed individuals when they are exposed to emotionally evocative stimuli requiring active participation in personally relevant tasks. Depressed and nondepressed college students were exposed to two stressful, aversive tasks in Study 1, and were given either highly positive or negative feedback on a performance-based test in Study 2. Results of the two studies were somewhat inconsistent. Study 1 demonstrated that depressed individuals experienced a potentiation of negative emotion (i.e. anger), while in Study 2, ECI was supported. Reasons for the discrepancy are discussed; however, taken together, they point to the importance of emotion dysregulation as a maintenance factor for the disorder.