Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Posed facial expressions of emotion in schizophrenia and depression

Howard Berenbauma1 c1

a1 Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA


The goals of the present study were to explore: (1) whether schizophrenics, depressives, and normals differ in their likelihood of expressing different emotions; and (2) whether the types of expressions subjects exhibit are associated with their level of reported depressive symptomatology. Subjects were asked to imagine: seeing, smelling, or tasting something disgusting; and having something wonderful happen to them. Subjects were asked to show the experimenter what their face would look like if these things happened. The groups differed in how frequently they exhibited anger or contempt in the first condition and happiness in the second condition. The depressives were most likely to exhibit anger/contempt and least likely to exhibit happiness. Using Beck Depression Inventory scores as dependent variables, there were significant interactions between diagnostic group and the type of facial expressions exhibited. The associations between facial expressions and BDI scores were in the opposite directions for depressives and schizophrenics.


c1 Address for correspondence; Dr Howard Berenbaum, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 603 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.

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