Emotion recognition in depression: An investigation of performance and response confidence in adult female patients with depression

Martina Fieker*, Steffen Moritz, Ulf Köther, Lena Jelinek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abnormalities in emotion recognition are frequently reported in depression. However, emotion recognition is not compromised in some studies, and confidence judgments, which are essential for social interaction, have not been considered to date. Due to the high prevalence rate of depression in women, and sex differences in emotion recognition, the aim of the present study was to investigate emotion recognition and confidence judgments in women with depression. A sample of female patients with depressive disorders (n=45) was compared with female healthy controls (n=30) in their ability to correctly identify facial emotion expressions along with confidence judgments. Groups performed similarly on emotional face recognition and showed no difference regarding confidence ratings. A negative correlation between self-assessed depression and response confidence was found. While some limitations of the study must be taken in consideration (e.g., small number of items per emotion category, low severity of depression), abnormalities in emotion recognition do not seem to be a major feature of depression. As self-assessed depression is accompanied by low response confidence for emotional faces, it is crucial to further examine the role of confidence judgments in emotion recognition, as underconfidence may foster interpersonal insecurity in depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume242
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognitive bias
  • Depression
  • Emotion
  • Facial emotional expressions

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