Emotional complexity across the life story: Elevated negative emodiversity and diminished positive emodiversity in sufferers of recurrent depression.
Journal of affective disorders
MetadataShow full item record
Werner-Seidler, A., Hitchcock, C., Hammond, E., Hill, E., Golden, A., Breakwell, L., Ramana, R., et al. (2020). Emotional complexity across the life story: Elevated negative emodiversity and diminished positive emodiversity in sufferers of recurrent depression.. Journal of affective disorders, 273 106-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.04.060
Background: Greater diversity in the experience of negative and positive emotions – emodiversity – is associated with better mental health outcomes in the general population (Quoidbach et al. 2014). However, conceptual accounts of depression suggest this might differ in clinical depression. In this study, the diversity of negative and positive emotion experiences as remembered by a recurrently depressed sample and a never-depressed control group were compared. Methods: Emodiversity was assessed using a life structure card sort task which allowed for the assessment of memory for emotional experience over the life course. Depressed (n=34) and non-depressed (n=34) participants completed the card sort task, from which emodiversity metrics were calculated for negative and positive emotion experience. Results: Depressed individuals showed recollections of enhanced emodiversity across negative emotion but reduced emodiversity across positive emotion, relative to never-depressed individuals. Limitations: This study involved a relatively small sample size. Discussion: This study indicates that greater diversity of negative emotion experience, which has been interpreted as a protective factor against depressed mood in community samples (Quoidbach et al., 2014), instead characterises the remembered experience of recurrent clinical depression. The finding that positive emodiversity is adaptive in depression suggests that therapeutic outcomes may be improved by facilitating exposure to a diverse range of positive emotions. These findings indicate that the relationship between emotion diversity and mental health is more complex than hitherto assumed.
Humans, Depression, Emotions, Mental Health, Mental Recall, Depressive Disorder, Major
This work was funded by the UK Medical Research Council(GrantReference: SUAG/043 G101400) and supported by the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedica lResearch Centre.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.04.060
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/305823
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/