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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 15

of 'Family and couples therapy for treating depressed adults'

Allure of negative feedback: self-verification strivings among depressed persons.
Swann WB Jr, Wenzlaff RM, Krull DS, Pelham BW
J Abnorm Psychol. 1992;101(2):293.
We propose that people with negative self-views are rejected because they gravitate to partners who view them unfavorably. In relation to nondepressed college students (n = 28), depressives (n = 13) preferred interaction partners who evaluated them unfavorably (Study 1). Similarly, in relation to nondepressives (n = 106), depressives (n = 10) preferred friends or dating partners who evaluated them unfavorably (Study 2). Dysphorics (n = 6) were more inclined to seek unfavorable feedback from their roommates than were nondepressives (n = 16); feedback-seeking activities of dysphorics were also associated with later rejection (Study 3). Finally, people with negative self-views (n = 37) preferentially solicited unfavorable feedback, although receiving such feedback made them unhappy, in comparison with people with positive self-views (n = 42; Study 4). It seems a desire for self-verification compels people with negative self-views to seek unfavorable appraisals.
Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin 78712.