Parameters of self-reinforcement and depression

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Assessed the levels of 3 components of self-reinforcement (self-expectation, self-evaluation, and self-reward) in 2 groups of 40 hospitalized psychiatric patients (clinically depressed and clinically nondepressed). Tasks included a word association measure, the WAIS Digit Symbol subtest, and a task involving decisions that would benefit the ward. The depressed group showed significantly lower levels on all 3 variables, which were significantly interrelated. Ss in the depressed group were significantly more reinforcing to others on all 3 variables than to themselves, as compared with the nondepressed group. Despite lower levels of self-reinforcement, there were no differences between the 2 groups' objective performances. The overall results suggest qualifications to a self-reinforcement theory of depression. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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