Major Depressive Disorder: Emerging Evidence for Emotion Context Insensitivity
major depressive disorder, emotion context inensitivity, mood disturbance, emotion, depression, emotional responses, emotional reactivity
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Given that major depressive disorder (MDD) is essentially a disorder of mood, how does a major mood disturbance influence emotion? Using theory from affective science, in this chapter I first outline two initial hypotheses about how mood disturbance might influence depressed persons' responses to positive and negative emotional stimuli. Second, I review the empirical record, which includes a number of discrepancies that cannot be easily accommodated by these initial hypotheses. To better assimilate these discrepant findings, I outline an alternative theory-based hypothesis concerning emotions in MDD, which I call the emotion context insensitivity (ECI) hypothesis. I consider possible benefits of characterizing depression in terms of ECI and outline remaining areas of ambiguity concerning the ECI hypothesis. Finally, I outline several focal areas for future work designed to increase our understanding of emotional reactivity in MDD and the role that emotion plays in this disorder.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Major Depressive Disorder: Emerging Evidence for Emotion Context Insensitivity, in J. Rottenberg & S. L. Johnson (Eds.), Emotion and Psychopathology: Bridging Affective and Clinical Science, American Psychological Association, p. 151-165
Scholar Commons Citation
Rottenberg, Johnathan, "Major Depressive Disorder: Emerging Evidence for Emotion Context Insensitivity" (2007). Psychology Faculty Publications. 1806.