It was hypothesized that identifying a recipient of social feedback as depressed would significantly affect the willingness of subjects to provide their reactions, and that therefore depressed persons receive different feed. back than nondepressed persons displaying the same behavior.
Subjects listened to recorded descriptions of a male or female person who was described simply as a friend, or additionally, as having been depressed for a few days o ra month. The major finding was that subjects indicated they were less willing to provide positive reactions to the depressed
target stimuli, and this was found to be the case for both solicited and volunteered reactions. Overall, female subjects were significantly more willing to provide both positive and negative reactions than were males. It was proposed that depressed persons are highly susceptible to environmental
response, and that the withholding of positive reactions to depressed persons is in need of further study.