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Differentiating anticipated and anticipatory emotions and their sensitivity to depressive symptoms

Clayton McClure, Jack Helgi, Riggs, Kevin J, Dewhurst, Stephen A and Anderson, Rachel J (2024) Differentiating anticipated and anticipatory emotions and their sensitivity to depressive symptoms. Emotion. (In Press)

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Anticipated emotions are the feelings one expects if a hypothetical future event were to occur, whereas anticipatory emotions are those one experiences right now while imagining the event. There has been little direct comparison of these two forms of future-oriented emotion; and authors have typically focussed on positive emotions (e.g., pleasure). Besides, their sensitivity to depressive symptoms – which may help to explain motivational problems in depression – has only recently been investigated (e.g., Anderson et al., 2023; Gamble et al., 2021). The present study (conducted Sept–Nov 2022) used innovative picture-and-text vignettes depicting everyday positive and negative future events, to which participants rated their anticipated and anticipatory responses on separate dimensions of valence (i.e., how positive/negative) and arousal (i.e., emotional intensity). Based on prior literature, anticipatory emotions were expected to be correlated with, yet weaker than, anticipated emotions, reflecting a conceptualisation of anticipatory emotions as a “foretaste” of the affective response one expects in the future. We also predicted that high depressive symptoms would coincide with diminished emotion ratings overall, and specifically for anticipatory emotions (tightly coupled with event expectations; Carrera et al., 2012). Results largely supported these pre-registered predictions; yet anticipatory emotions (positive and negative) were only weaker in more highly depressed participants. Depressive symptoms may therefore affect how one currently feels about future possibilities without altering one’s expectations of how such events would actually feel. Implications and future research objectives arising from this are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF180-198.7 Experimental psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF501-505 Motivation
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF511-593 Affection. Feeling. Emotion
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9773

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