Attentional control mediates the relationship between social anhedonia and social impairment

Laura Tully, Sarah Hope Lincoln, Christine I. Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Social anhedonia (SA), a trait-like disinterest in social contact and diminished capacity to experience pleasure from social interactions, is consistently associated with social impairments in both healthy and clinical populations. However, the mechanisms underlying the relationship between SA and social impairment are poorly understood. Attentional control, selecting and focusing on relevant information and inhibiting irrelevant, may be one such mechanism. We examined individual differences in SA, attentional control, and social impairment in 108 healthy adults. High SA related to low attentional control and high social impairment. Moreover, attentional control mediated the relationship between SA and social impairment, establishing attentional control as one mechanism underlying aberrations in the fundamental human need for social contact. Although both attentional deficits and social impairment have been separately noted in SA, the relationship between SA, attentional control and social impairment in this non-clinical sample reflects a novel contribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1384
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberDEC
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Attentional control
  • Psychosis-proneness
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizotypy
  • Social anhedonia
  • Social functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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