Verbal and Nonverbal Expressions as Indicators of Social and Emotional Functioning among Social Anhedonics
Mann, Monica Constance
Blanchard, Jack J
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Social anhedonia has received increasing empirical attention and support as a vulnerability marker for the development of schizophrenia. Although social anhedonia implies a reduced capacity for pleasure, the relationship between this construct and the experience and expression of emotion remains unclear. The current study sought to better understand the emotional expression of anhedonics by examining the self-report of emotional experiences and social relationships. Results indicated that social anhedonics used fewer positive emotion words in social descriptions and fewer social words in positive experience descriptions. Social anhedonics did not use significantly fewer positive facial expressions than controls, although gender differences were observed. Correlations with symptom ratings were inconsistent. Thus, this research was able to integrate the study of social and emotional functioning to describe the emotional correlates of social anhedonia which adds to an accumulating body of knowledge on behavioral characteristics for identifying individuals at putative risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.