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Scientific article
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English

Does depression interfere with effort mobilization? Effects of dysphoria and task difficulty on cardiovascular response

Published inJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 94, no. 1, p. 146-157
Publication date2008
Abstract

Based on predictions of the mood-behavior-model (Gendolla, 2000) and motivational intensity theory (Brehm & Self, 1989) two studies critically tested the common assumption that dysphoria is associated with a motivational deficit. Dysphoric and nondysphoric undergraduates performed a cognitive task that was either easy or difficult. Effort intensity (i.e., resource mobilization) was assessed as performance-related cardiovascular reactivity. In support of our predictions and in contrast to the popular view of a general motivational deficit, both studies found a crossover interaction between dysphoria and task difficulty: In the difficult condition, nondysphoric participants indeed showed stronger systolic blood pressure reactivity than dysphorics. But in the easy condition, dysphoric participants showed stronger systolic reactivity than nondysphorics. The findings are discussed with respect to motivational deficits in depression and possible underlying mechanisms.

Keywords
  • Dysphoria
  • Depression
  • Motivational deficit
  • Effort mobilization
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
Citation (ISO format)
BRINKMANN, Kerstin, GENDOLLA, Guido. Does depression interfere with effort mobilization? Effects of dysphoria and task difficulty on cardiovascular response. In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008, vol. 94, n° 1, p. 146–157. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.1.146
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ISSN of the journal0022-3514
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