The effects of mood on ratings of social functioning
The purpose of this study was to further investigate the tendency toward negativity in perception as observed in some depressed subjects. Of particular interest was social perception in situations that did not involve a self-evaluative component. To that end, subjects were randomly assigned to a negative or positive mood induction condition and then were asked to rate videotaped targets on a number of social functioning dimensions. It was hypothesized that all subjects would differentially rate the poorly adjusted targets from the well adjusted targets and that those subjects in the negative mood condition would rate the targets more negatively on all dimensions than would the control subjects. The first hypothesis was supported; however, no condition effect was found such that subjects in the negative mood condition did not rate the targets more negatively than control subjects. Future research needs to continue to investigate specific social deficits in depressed individuals and to further hone operational definitions of depression in this research.
Conger, Purdue University.
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