Social responses to depressive interpersonal behavior: An investigation of the role of affect and expectancies in social rejection

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Charles S. Carver, Committee Chair


The causes of the well documented social rejection of depressed individuals requires further investigation. The present study uses a 3 Mood (unhappy, neutral, happy) x 3 Outlook (pessimistic, unsure, optimistic) x 2 Sex of Rater factorial design to examine the effects of expressed mood and outlook on male vs. female ratings of rejection. Subjects read a transcribed interview of a hypothetical college student and then rated their desire for future contact with the interviewee. Significant main effects suggested that happy mood and optimistic outlook elicited acceptance, whereas unhappy mood and pessimistic outlook elicited rejection. A significant mood x outlook interaction suggested that under conditions of incongruent mood and outlook (i.e., unhappy but optimistic, and happy but pessimistic), rejection ratings corresponded to the outlook variable. Both males and females rejected interviewees with unhappy mood, but only males rejected those with neutral mood.


Psychology, Social; Psychology, Clinical

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