The effect of stress on hedonic capacity

J Abnorm Psychol. 1993 Aug;102(3):474-81. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.102.3.474.


Two experiments were conducted to examine the effect of stress on hedonic capacity. In Experiment 1, cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps reported experiencing less pleasure while watching amusing film clips after participating in a weekend of field training exercises than they did on a control day. In Experiment 2, college students reported experiencing less pleasure in their daily activities during final exam week than they did at the baseline assessment. Hedonic capacity was associated with positive affect but not with negative affect or reported stress levels. The deleterious effect of stress on hedonic capacity was particularly strong for subjects with family histories of depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*