Angela Li Humanities and Social Science
The Effects of Depression on Interpersonal Emotional Responding
My research project focuses on depression to determine how it impacts interpersonal relationships and depressed individuals’ emotional responses. I am studying depression through a couple’s study involving 80 romantic couples. During the study, couples engage in a series of conversations about a sacrifice they made for each other, a time that they felt great love for their partner, and a time of suffering they experienced on their own. By analyzing the participant’s physiological, behavioral, and emotional responses during and after these conversations, I aim to find answers to the following four questions: (1) Do depressive symptoms predict specific emotional responses in romantic relationships? (2) Are the emotional responses of depressed individuals context-specific? (3) How does depression influence relationship satisfaction? (4) Is there a change in depressive symptoms as a function of emotional responding? Through exploring these questions throughout this summer, I hope to gain insight into how depression affects interpersonal relationships and emotional experiences.