Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Mildly depressed people more perceptive than others"

Surprisingly, people with mild depression are actually more tuned into the feelings of others than those who aren’t depressed, a team of Queen’s psychologists has discovered.

“This was quite unexpected because we tend to think that the opposite is true,” says lead researcher Kate Harkness. “For example, people with depression are more likely to have problems in a number of social areas.”

The researchers were so taken aback by the findings, they decided to replicate the study with another group of participants. The second study produced the same results: People with mild symptoms of depression pay more attention to details of their social environment than those who are not depressed....

Previous related research by the Queen’s investigators has been conducted on people diagnosed with clinical depression. In this case, the clinically depressed participants performed much worse on tests of mental state decoding than people who weren’t depressed.

To explain the apparent discrepancy between those with mild and clinical depression, the researchers suggest that becoming mildly depressed (dysphoric) can heighten concern about your surroundings.

More @ Science Blog

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the perceptions real or imagined? Are they conjured up by the depressed person as a bi-product of their illness? their medication? Or does their hightened awareness really correlate to hightened perception?

2:19 PM  

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