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Clinical Depression and Punishment Sensitivity on the BART.

Hevey, D., Thomas, K., Laureano-Schelten, S., Looney, K. and Booth, R., 2017. Clinical Depression and Punishment Sensitivity on the BART. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (Article 670), 1 -7.

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DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00670


Depression is associated with altered sensitivity to reward and punishment, which can influence complex decision-making. We examined punishment sensitivity in the performance of participants with major depressive disorder (MDD) with that of a comparison group on the automatic Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), which is a direct measure of risk taking. The present study examined the BART performance of 30 individuals with MDD and 30 matched comparison individuals. The comparison group (M = 63.25) entered a significantly (p < 0.001; d = 1.1) higher number of pumps on the BART than the MDD group (M = 50.83). Higher levels of depression symptoms were significantly correlated (r2 0.40, p < 0.05) with entering a lower number of pumps in the MDD group. MDD patients showed an increased sensitivity to punishment on the BART: after a loss, the MDD group decreased (M = 13.7) the number of subsequent pumps they entered by a significantly (p < 0.001, d D 0.81) greater amount than the comparison group (M = 4.35). This difference applied to losses only: no difference was found between the groups regarding the magnitude of change in pumps selected after a win. Findings suggest the presence of elevated punishment sensitivity among individuals with MDD, which may contribute to the maintenance of depressive symptoms.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:depression ; decision-making ; risk-taking ; punishment ; sensitivity
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:29203
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:11 May 2017 09:27
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:04


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