Social Anhedonia, Loneliness and Face Affect Recognition

Published: 13 March 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/xcnb6g75sv.1
Emma Barkus, Steven Roodenrys, Simone Favelle, Leonie Miller, Tracey Woolrych


Background: Loneliness (a subjective sense of disconnection with others) and social anhedonia (reduced pleasure from social environments and interactions) involve disruptions of, and pleasure from, social connection. It is possible that loneliness and social anhedonia can co-occur within the same individual. Both are associated with poor social functioning and processing of social cues, such as face emotions, yet few studies have considered both factors at the same time. Therefore, in our study we considered the relationships between loneliness, social anhedonia, face emotion recognition labelling and social functioning in young adults. We hypothesized loneliness would moderate the relationship between social anhedonia and (poor) face emotion recognition, but mediate the relationship between social anhedonia and social functioning. Measures: Palmero faces data with upright faces. Revised Social Anhedonia Scale. Social Functioning Scale. UCLA - V3 Loneliness Scale. DASS-21. Key Findings: Loneliness and social anhedonia were significantly, positive correlated, even controlling for negative affect. Contrary to predictions, neither loneliness nor social anhedonia were related to percentage accuracy for face emotion labelling. Loneliness only significantly moderated the relationship between social anhedonia and accuracy for labelling surprise. Finally, loneliness did not mediate the relationship between social anhedonia and social functioning.


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Statistics: IBM SPSS 21 and the Process add on (Version 2.16.3) were used to conduct all analysis.


Cognitive Psychology