Differences between Self-Reported and Observed Pleasure in Depression and Schizophrenia

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Observer ratings of positive affect and self-ratings of pleasurable experience were collected daily on six schizophrenic and five depressed inpatients during baseline medication-free periods ranging from 11 to 27 days. Schizophrenics were observed to display significantly higher degrees of positive affect than depressed patients, but they reported significantly lower degrees of experienced pleasure. Depressed patients, conversely, were observed to demonstrate significantly lower degrees of positive affect than schizophrenics, but they reported significantly higher degrees of experienced pleasure. These results have important implications for the further specification of mechanisms underlying abnormalities in pleasure associated with psychiatric disorders.

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