Anhedonia in schizophrenia: Distinctions between anticipatory and consummatory pleasure

David E. Gard, Ann M. Kring, Marja Germans Gard, William P. Horan, Michael F. Green

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95 Scopus citations


Research on anhedonia in schizophrenia has revealed mixed results, with patients reporting greater anhedonia than healthy controls on self-report measures and semi-structured interviews, but also reporting comparable experiences of positive emotions in response to pleasurable stimuli. Basic science points to the importance of distinguishing between anticipatory and consummatory (or in-the-moment) pleasure experiences, and this distinction may help to reconcile the mixed findings on anhedonia in schizophrenia. In two studies, we tested the hypothesis that anhedonia in schizophrenia reflects a deficit in anticipatory pleasure but not consummatory pleasure. In Study 1, we used experience sampling methodology to assess reported experiences of consummatory and anticipated pleasure among schizophrenia patients and controls. In Study 2, schizophrenia patients and controls completed a self-report trait measure of anticipatory and consummatory pleasure and interviews that assessed negative symptoms, including anhedonia, and community functioning. In both studies, we found evidence for an anticipatory but not a consummatory pleasure deficit in schizophrenia. In addition, anticipatory pleasure was related to clinical ratings of anhedonia and functional outcome. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anhedonia
  • Anticipation
  • Consummatory
  • Pleasure
  • Schizophrenia
  • TEPS


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