Affective meaning and depression: A semantic differential analysis

Paul Karoly, Linda Ruehlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


While depressive symptomatology is typically discussed in terms of a cognitive-behavioral-affective triad, research and clinical work has tended to focus primarily on thought and behavior. Disengagement from incentives in depression should also be examined explicitly from the affective sphere. In the present study, the semantic differential technique was used to map the reactions of depressed and nondepressed college students to global concepts of a self-referent (self, past, future) versus external (friends, family, school) nature. Findings revealed that depressed subjects rated all concepts significantly less potent, less active, and less evaluatively positive as compared to their nondepressed peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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