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It was hypothesized that identifying a recipient of social feedback as depressed would significantly
affect the willingness of participants to provide their reactions, and that therefore depressed persons receive different feedback than nondepressed persons displaying the same behavior. Participants listened to recorded descriptions of a male or female person who was described simply as a friend, or additionally, as having been depressed for a few days or a month. The major finding was that participants indicated they were less willing to provide positive reactions to the depressed target stimuli, and this was found to be the case for both solicited and volunteered reactions. Overall, female participants were significantly more willing to provide both positive and negative reactions than were males. It was proposed that depressed persons are highly susceptible to environmental response, and that the withholding of positive reactions to depressed persons is in need of further study.