Reciprocal associations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life: Network analyses in anhedonic individuals and healthy controls

E. Van Roekel*, V.E. Heininga, C. Vrijen, E. Snippe, A.J. Oldehinkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Anhedonia reflects a dysfunction in the reward system, which can be manifested in an inability to enjoy pleasurable situations (i.e., lack of positive emotions), but also by a lack of motivation to engage in pleasurable activities (i.e., lack of motivation). Little is known about the interrelations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life, and whether these associations are altered in anhedonic individuals. In the present study, we used a network approach to explore the reciprocal, lagged associations between positive emotions and motivation in anhedonic individuals (N = 66) and controls (N = 68). Participants (aged between 18 and 24 years) filled out momentary assessments of affect 3 times per day for 30 consecutive days. Our results showed that (a) anhedonic individuals and controls had similar moment-to-moment transfer of positive emotions; (b) in the anhedonic network feeling cheerful was the node with the highest outstrength, both within this group and compared with the control group; (c) feeling relaxed had the highest outstrength in the control network, and (d) anhedonic individuals had stronger pathways from positive emotions to motivation than controls. Taken together, our findings suggest that low levels of positive emotions lead to decreased motivation in the anhedonic group, which could instigate a negative spiral of low pleasure and low motivation. On a more positive note, we showed that cheerfulness had the highest outstrength in the network of anhedonic participants. Hence, interventions may focus on increasing cheerfulness in anhedonic individuals, as this will likely have the greatest impact on other positive emotions and motivations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-300
JournalEmotion
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Anhedonia
Pleasure

Keywords

  • DEPRESSIVE DISORDER
  • DYNAMICS
  • EXPERIENCE
  • Experience Sampling Method
  • INERTIA
  • PREDICTS
  • REWARD
  • STATES
  • anhedonia
  • motivation
  • network analyses
  • positive emotions

Cite this

@article{c518b939e4ee41e4badbc22946bc78f6,
title = "Reciprocal associations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life: Network analyses in anhedonic individuals and healthy controls",
abstract = "Anhedonia reflects a dysfunction in the reward system, which can be manifested in an inability to enjoy pleasurable situations (i.e., lack of positive emotions), but also by a lack of motivation to engage in pleasurable activities (i.e., lack of motivation). Little is known about the interrelations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life, and whether these associations are altered in anhedonic individuals. In the present study, we used a network approach to explore the reciprocal, lagged associations between positive emotions and motivation in anhedonic individuals (N = 66) and controls (N = 68). Participants (aged between 18 and 24 years) filled out momentary assessments of affect 3 times per day for 30 consecutive days. Our results showed that (a) anhedonic individuals and controls had similar moment-to-moment transfer of positive emotions; (b) in the anhedonic network feeling cheerful was the node with the highest outstrength, both within this group and compared with the control group; (c) feeling relaxed had the highest outstrength in the control network, and (d) anhedonic individuals had stronger pathways from positive emotions to motivation than controls. Taken together, our findings suggest that low levels of positive emotions lead to decreased motivation in the anhedonic group, which could instigate a negative spiral of low pleasure and low motivation. On a more positive note, we showed that cheerfulness had the highest outstrength in the network of anhedonic participants. Hence, interventions may focus on increasing cheerfulness in anhedonic individuals, as this will likely have the greatest impact on other positive emotions and motivations.",
keywords = "DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, DYNAMICS, EXPERIENCE, Experience Sampling Method, INERTIA, PREDICTS, REWARD, STATES, anhedonia, motivation, network analyses, positive emotions",
author = "{Van Roekel}, E. and V.E. Heininga and C. Vrijen and E. Snippe and A.J. Oldehinkel",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1037/emo0000424",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "292--300",
journal = "Emotion",
issn = "1528-3542",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
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Reciprocal associations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life : Network analyses in anhedonic individuals and healthy controls. / Van Roekel, E.; Heininga, V.E.; Vrijen, C.; Snippe, E.; Oldehinkel, A.J.

In: Emotion, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2019, p. 292-300.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reciprocal associations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life

T2 - Network analyses in anhedonic individuals and healthy controls

AU - Van Roekel, E.

AU - Heininga, V.E.

AU - Vrijen, C.

AU - Snippe, E.

AU - Oldehinkel, A.J.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Anhedonia reflects a dysfunction in the reward system, which can be manifested in an inability to enjoy pleasurable situations (i.e., lack of positive emotions), but also by a lack of motivation to engage in pleasurable activities (i.e., lack of motivation). Little is known about the interrelations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life, and whether these associations are altered in anhedonic individuals. In the present study, we used a network approach to explore the reciprocal, lagged associations between positive emotions and motivation in anhedonic individuals (N = 66) and controls (N = 68). Participants (aged between 18 and 24 years) filled out momentary assessments of affect 3 times per day for 30 consecutive days. Our results showed that (a) anhedonic individuals and controls had similar moment-to-moment transfer of positive emotions; (b) in the anhedonic network feeling cheerful was the node with the highest outstrength, both within this group and compared with the control group; (c) feeling relaxed had the highest outstrength in the control network, and (d) anhedonic individuals had stronger pathways from positive emotions to motivation than controls. Taken together, our findings suggest that low levels of positive emotions lead to decreased motivation in the anhedonic group, which could instigate a negative spiral of low pleasure and low motivation. On a more positive note, we showed that cheerfulness had the highest outstrength in the network of anhedonic participants. Hence, interventions may focus on increasing cheerfulness in anhedonic individuals, as this will likely have the greatest impact on other positive emotions and motivations.

AB - Anhedonia reflects a dysfunction in the reward system, which can be manifested in an inability to enjoy pleasurable situations (i.e., lack of positive emotions), but also by a lack of motivation to engage in pleasurable activities (i.e., lack of motivation). Little is known about the interrelations between positive emotions and motivation in daily life, and whether these associations are altered in anhedonic individuals. In the present study, we used a network approach to explore the reciprocal, lagged associations between positive emotions and motivation in anhedonic individuals (N = 66) and controls (N = 68). Participants (aged between 18 and 24 years) filled out momentary assessments of affect 3 times per day for 30 consecutive days. Our results showed that (a) anhedonic individuals and controls had similar moment-to-moment transfer of positive emotions; (b) in the anhedonic network feeling cheerful was the node with the highest outstrength, both within this group and compared with the control group; (c) feeling relaxed had the highest outstrength in the control network, and (d) anhedonic individuals had stronger pathways from positive emotions to motivation than controls. Taken together, our findings suggest that low levels of positive emotions lead to decreased motivation in the anhedonic group, which could instigate a negative spiral of low pleasure and low motivation. On a more positive note, we showed that cheerfulness had the highest outstrength in the network of anhedonic participants. Hence, interventions may focus on increasing cheerfulness in anhedonic individuals, as this will likely have the greatest impact on other positive emotions and motivations.

KW - DEPRESSIVE DISORDER

KW - DYNAMICS

KW - EXPERIENCE

KW - Experience Sampling Method

KW - INERTIA

KW - PREDICTS

KW - REWARD

KW - STATES

KW - anhedonia

KW - motivation

KW - network analyses

KW - positive emotions

U2 - 10.1037/emo0000424

DO - 10.1037/emo0000424

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 292

EP - 300

JO - Emotion

JF - Emotion

SN - 1528-3542

IS - 2

ER -