, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 157-165
Date: 27 Apr 2013

Rose-colored glasses gone too far? Mania symptoms predict biased emotion experience and perception in couples

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Abstract

The present study investigated how symptoms of mania—associated with heightened and persistent positive emotion—influence emotion experience and perception during distressing social interactions, whereby the experience of heightened positive emotion may not be socially adaptive. Specifically, mania symptoms were assessed via a validated self-report measure, and used to predict emotion experience and perception during a naturalistic conversation between romantic couples about a time of distress and suffering (N = 68 dyads). Results indicated that mania symptoms were associated with increased positive and decreased negative emotion experience and perception between couples, as well as decreased empathic accuracy for partners’ negative but not positive emotions. These findings suggest that mania symptoms may be associated with “rose-colored” glasses characterized by a positively biased emotional experience and outward perception even during perhaps the most intimate and distressing social situations.