Scientific article
Open access

I don't care about others' approval: Dysphoric individuals show reduced effort mobilization for obtaining a social reward

Published inMotivation and emotion, vol. 38, no. 6, p. 790-801
Publication date2014

Past research on reduced reward responsiveness in depression and dysphoria has mainly focused on monetary rewards. However, social rewards are important motivators and might be especially impaired in depression. The present study tested the hypothesis that nondysphoric individuals would mobilize more effort during a memory task without a clear performance standard when anticipating social approval for good performance. In contrast, dysphoric individuals were expected to be less sensitive to this reward and to mobilize less effort. Effort mobilization in this 2 (dysphoric vs. nondysphoric) 9 2 (no reward vs. social approval) between-persons study was operationalized by participants' cardiovascular reactivity. Results confirmed that nondysphorics had higher reactivity of systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate when expecting to enter their name in the alleged ‘‘best list'', whereas dysphorics had lower cardiovascular reactivity. The present study expands evidence for reduced reward responsiveness in depression and dysphoria from an effort mobilization perspective by demonstrating reduced effort-related cardiovascular reactivity to social rewards.

  • Depression
  • Effort mobilization
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Social reward
  • Reward
  • Responsiveness
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 100014-134557
Citation (ISO format)
BRINKMANN, Kerstin et al. I don’t care about others” approval: Dysphoric individuals show reduced effort mobilization for obtaining a social reward. In: Motivation and emotion, 2014, vol. 38, n° 6, p. 790–801. doi: 10.1007/s11031-014-9437-y
Main files (2)
Article (Published version)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0146-7239

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