Scientific article
Open access

When should I stop? Dysphoria leads to impaired task persistence via negative mood

Published inSwiss Journal of Psychology, vol. 79, no. 2, p. 55-61
Publication date2020

Based on reported motivational deficits in depression—and on persistence deficits in particular—the present study examined whether dysphoric individuals benefit from task contexts that favor longer task persistence. Undergraduates worked on an item generation task with different stop rules: “Is this a good time to stop?” (enough rule), “Do I feel like continuing?” (enjoy rule), or no specific rule. Results revealed that, independent of the stop rule, participants with high depression scores stopped earlier and generated fewer items than participants with low depression scores—an effect that was mediated by current mood state. Thus, contrary to experimentally induced negative mood, the enough rule intervention was not effective in eliminating dysphoric individuals' persistence deficits. Implications for task disengagement and performance outcomes are discussed.

  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Task persistence
  • Mood-as-input
  • Stop rule
Citation (ISO format)
BRINKMANN, Kerstin, GENDOLLA, Guido. When should I stop? Dysphoria leads to impaired task persistence via negative mood. In: Swiss Journal of Psychology, 2020, vol. 79, n° 2, p. 55–61. doi: 10.1024/1421-0185/a000235
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal1421-0185

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