SURF

Angela Li

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.

Message to Sponsor

SURF is an exciting opportunity for me to be able to spend my summer fully engaged in research, and get a taste of what it is like to work in the academic world. It is very nice for me to be able to provide for myself this summer without bringing any financial burden to my parents. Aside from financial support, it is also wonderful to have the support of the great people working to make the SURF program possible, as well as the support of fellow scholars who are so bright and have such interesting new ideas. I feel so grateful to be able to be a part of a community of people who are passionate about researching and learning. Finally, I am very excited about my research project, which will be the very first that I will be in charge of from start to finish!
  • Major: Psychology
  • Mentor: Dacher Keltner, Psychology