Psychopathology and positive emotions in daily life


In this short review, we describe recent trends from Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) research investigating positive affect (PA) in relation to mood disorders. Aside from notable exceptions (e.g., mania), most mood disorders involve relatively lower levels of PA in daily life, often combined with a larger level of variability in PA. In reaction to positive events, studies show a puzzling “mood brightening” effect in individuals with mood disorder symptoms that suggests hyper responsiveness to real-life rewards. Studies into anhedonia (i.e., lack of, or lower levels of PA) suggest that high-arousal PA and anticipatory PA are potential targets for intervention. Despite PA-focused EMA-interventions bear promises of greater therapeutic effectiveness, so far, these promises have not materialized yet.

Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Vera E. Heininga
Vera E. Heininga

Researcher at University of Groningen