# Does depressive symptomology moderate the relationship between alexithymic traits and emotion perception ability?

Dell, BH ORCID: 0000-0002-6074-8462 2018 , 'Does depressive symptomology moderate the relationship between alexithymic traits and emotion perception ability?', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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While a relationship between alexithymic traits and emotion perception difficulties has been consistently demonstrated, no prior research has examined whether depressive symptomology influences this relationship. The present study examined the relationship between alexithymic traits and the ability to identify a range of dynamically displayed basic emotions (happiness, sadness, and fear), across various emotion intensity levels (20%, 60%, and 100%), and whether depressive symptomology moderated this relationship. One-hundred and twenty participants (68 females; aged 18 to 65 years, M = 24.95, SD = 7.19) completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, and the Emotion Recognition Task. The present results indicate that higher levels of alexithymic traits may be associated with a reduced ability to identify fear at full intensity levels, which provides some limited support for the prior literature. Furthermore, higher levels of depressive symptomology may be associated with an enhanced ability to identify fear at low intensity levels, which provides tentative support for the negative bias in emotion processing typically found in depressed individuals. However, no further enhancement, attenuation, or moderation effects were evident. Future research in individuals with higher levels of alexithymic traits and depressive symptomology is required to support these findings and to better inform potential targeted treatment programs for those who may be experiencing interpersonal difficulties.