ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (6): 637-647.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00637

• Reports of Empirical Studies •     Next Articles

Emotional regulation goals of young adults with depression inclination: An event-related potential study

LI Hong1,2,3,YANG Xiaoguang1,2,ZHENG Wenyu1,2,WANG Chao1,2()   

  1. 1 School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
    2 Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Affective and Social Cognitive Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
    3 Shenzhen Institute of Neuroscience, Shenzhen 518060, China
  • Received:2018-03-14 Published:2019-06-25 Online:2019-04-25
  • Contact: Chao WANG


Researches on deficits in emotion regulation of depression have mainly focused on the selection and application of emotion-regulation strategies; however, it remains unclear whether it is also related to emotion-regulation goals, i.e., the direction of emotion regulation. Situation selection is an antecedent-focused regulation strategy that is worked before the emotional reactions occur and it can be used as an index of emotional-regulation goals.

In our current study, the event-related potential (ERP) technique was used to investigate the emotion-regulation goals of young adults with depression inclination. Participants were asked to freely select the emotion-inducing scenes in which they want to put themselves and to report their emotional preferences。

ERP results revealed that the amplitudes of Late Positive Potential (LPP) were significantly decreased when viewing the sadness scene in young adults with depression inclination, and they selected to view sadness scene more frequently than healthy young adults. In addition, the ratings of sadness preferences were significantly higher among subjects with depression inclination, while the happiness preferences were lower.

The current results suggest that, compared to the control group, the individuals with depression inclination are more willing to use situation selection to maintain or enhance their sadness rather than weaken it or enhance their happiness. These findings further indicate that emotion regulation goals of depressive subjects may be related to their motivations for selecting emotional stimulus, and provide a new perspective for exploring the causes and mechanisms of emotion regulation deficits in depressive disorders.

Key words: emotion regulation, emotion regulation goal, depression inclination, approach-avoidance motivation, late positive potential

CLC Number: