Vulnerability to depression is associated with a failure to acquire implicit social appraisals

Bayliss, Andrew ORCID:, Tipper, Steven P., Wakeley, Judi, Cowen, Philip J. and Rogers, Robert D. (2017) Vulnerability to depression is associated with a failure to acquire implicit social appraisals. Cognition and Emotion, 31 (4). pp. 825-833. ISSN 0269-9931

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Major depressive disorder is frequently associated with disrupted relationships with spouses, partners, family and peers. These problems can precipitate the onset of clinical illness, influence severity and the prospects for treatment and recovery. Here, we investigated whether individuals who have recovered from depression use interpersonal signals to form favourable appraisals of others as social partners. Twenty recovered-depressed adults (with at least two adult episodes of major depressive disorder but euthymic and medication-free for six months) and twenty three healthy, never-depressed adults completed a reaction time task in which the gaze direction of some faces reliably cued the location a target (valid faces), whereas the gaze direction of other faces cued the opposite spatial location (invalid faces). None of the participants were aware of this contingency. Following this task, participants judged the trustworthiness of the faces. Both the recovered-depressed and healthy never-depressed participants were significantly faster to categorise targets following valid compared with invalid gaze cueing faces. Whereas the healthy never-depressed participants judged the valid faces to be significantly more trustworthy than the invalid faces; this implicit social appraisal was absent in the recovered-depressed participants. Individuals who have recovered from major depressive disorder are able to respond appropriately to joint attention with other people but appear to not use joint attention to form implicit trust appraisals of others as potential social partners.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: depression,joint attention,trustworthiness,social cognition
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:32
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 23:52
DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2016.1160869


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