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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Depression is a disorder of emotion dysregulation. Indeed, emotion regulation difficulties are clearly evident in the hallmark features of the disorder: sustained negative affect and anhedonia. Whereas an abundance of research has focused on the downregulation of negative affect, only recently has empirical work begun to untangle depression-related difficulties experiencing and maintaining positive emotions. This chapter first reviews the phenomenology of positive emotion disruptions within major depression and then identifies emerging findings that highlight potential mechanisms of these disruptions. Various forms of methodology (e.g., self-report, behavioral tasks, psychophysiology, neuroimaging) are integrated to address the following questions: Where does positive emotion fall apart in depression and why? The chapter concludes by discussing implications for the assessment of major depression as well as the refinement of interventions aimed at treating this debilitating disorder.

Keywords: Depression, Anhedonia, positive emotion, emotion regulation

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