Motivation and Effort in Individuals with Social Anhedonia
Blanchard, Jack J
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The current study sought to better understand differences in motivation and effort in individuals with social anhedonia. Social anhedonia is a core negative symptom and one of the strongest predictors for the development of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Because current research examining motivation and effort deficits has focused on self-report questionnaires and behavioral tasks, little is known about possible underlying mechanisms of social anhedonia. Thus, the current study examined effortful decision making (monetary reward task) and physiological measures of effort mobilization (cardiovascular reactivity) and investigated whether findings were specific to social anhedonia or were shared with positive symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (e.g., perceptual aberrations and magical ideation, together referred to as `PerMag') and healthy controls. Results indicated that elevated social anhedonia was related to more effortful decision making in the context of uncertain probability of reward, but there were no group differences with respect to physiological measures of effort.