Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ways we interact with those around us, this has led to an increase in how we engage with our social environment. Given the risks of in person interactions, the use of video conferencing as a means of social contact have increased. The increase in social isolation is correlated with meaningful increases in depression. This study looks at how individuals reporting and not reporting symptoms of depression interact in a virtual interaction structured to facilitate the development of feelings of connection. Specifically, it looks at how depression impacts the level of and perceived responsiveness to disclosure in an interpersonal task. We used Webex, a video conferencing software to conduct this study. Participants were randomized to a high disclosure or low disclosure condition in a stratified way based on their level of depression. In both conditions, participants were asked three sets of questions with surveys assessing their level of disclosure, perceived responsiveness, and feelings of connection between each set of questions. In the experimental condition, questions become more personal over time whereas in the control condition, no deeply personal questions are asked. Data collection is ongoing.