, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 141-154

Depression, hypomania, and expectation of future success among alcoholics

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The present study investigated the effects of differing levels of depression and hypomania on alcoholics' expectancy for future success on chance and skill tasks. Subjects were classified into four groups based upon scores on the Beck Depression Inventory and the MMPI hypomania scale. The primary finding suggests that these two variables exert an interactive effect on such expectancies. The presence of hypomania among highly depressed alcoholics appears to counteract the typical depressive influence on expectancies, leading to a perception of response-outcome dependence similar to that found among nondepressed nonhypomanic subjects. The presence of hypomania in the absence of depression leads to patterns of dampened expectancies similar to those among depressed-nonhypomanic subjects. The relationship of these findings to propositions of the learned helplessness model of depression is discussed.

This work was supported by the Medical Research Service of the Veterans Administration. Portions of this paper were read at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, April 1978.