Social Anhedonia and Aggressive Behavior
The inability to derive pleasure from social relationships, or social anhedonia, is associated with both psychopathology and impaired social functioning. Much of the research on social anhedonia (SA) has focused on its role in psychosis proneness (or schizotypy), which is the predisposition toward psychosis. Recent research suggests that SA may be related to aggression, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by the overlap between SA and positive aspects of schizotypy, namely perceptual aberrations (PA) and magical ideation (MI). The purpose of this study was to determine if SA uniquely predicts aggression in a nonclinical sample using a multi-modal approach to assess aggression. One hundred twenty undergraduates (60 men and 60 women) completed the Chapman psychosis proneness scales and self-report and behavioral measures of aggression. Results suggest that PA and MI were correlated with self-reported history of aggression, but that SA uniquely predicted provoked aggressive behavior observed in the laboratory. SA was also found to predict aggressive behavior over and above the effects of gender, anger and hostility. The results suggest that SA, and possibly low positive affect more broadly, may be associated with an increased risk of aggression in response to provocation. © 2012.
Personality and Individual Differences
(2012). Social Anhedonia and Aggressive Behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(7), 868-873.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/20842