Studies based on the most common diagnostic categories do not bring conclusive results concerning the overlapping and distinctive features of anxiety and depression, especially in the areas of attentional functioning, structure of affect, and cognitive emotion regulation. However, a new typology has been proposed which treats anxiety and depression as personality types (Fajkowska, 2013). These types – arousal and apprehension anxiety as well as valence and anhedonic depression – are constructed based on two criteria: specific structure and functions (reactive or regulative). The present paper critically examines the empirical evidence related to this approach. The data mostly confirmed the prediction that the similarities and differences in attentional and affective functioning among the anxiety and depression types would be related to their shared and specific structural and functional characteristics. The new typology turned out to be suitable for integrating the existing research findings by relating them to the structure and functions of anxiety and depression. As a result, it is useful in explaining some of the inconsistencies in literature, as it allows to identify the overlapping and distinctive features of the anxiety and depression types. It also helps to understand the mechanisms contributing to the development and maintenance of anxiety and depression, which might be useful in diagnosis and treatment. However, even though Fajkowska’s approach is an important contribution to the understanding of anxiety and depression, it is not exhaustive. Its limitations are discussed, along with proposed modifications of the theory, as well as further research directions.
This is both a review of previous research and a theoretical paper on altruism. It discusses one of the crucial theories of prosocial involvement: the distinction between endo- and exocentric prosocial motivation depending on the type of internal gratification for the involved individual: satisfaction of the Self vs. improving the circumstances of another person. The relevance and validity of this distinction finds support in early empirical studies. Contemporary findings suggest a more universal regulatory context of this idea, which transcends the domain of altruism and extends to the more general issues of the Self and social perception. In addition, it anticipates a number of cognitive biases consequential to the relationship between endocentric regulation and the Self. The findings support a reinterpretation of the original term “prosocial motivation” and the use of a broader interpretative construct “prosocial orientation”, understood as a complex syndrome of regulation that encompasses the processes of social perception, value judgements, and Self-regulation, both explicit and subliminal.