Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by high negative affect (NA) and low positive affect (PA), but little is known about emotional reactivity in daily life. The authors used experience sampling methodology to investigate changes in NA and PA following minor daily events in MDD compared with healthy participants. Contrary to expectation, MDD participants did not report more frequent negative events, although they did report fewer positive events. Multilevel regression showed that both NA and PA responses to negative events were blunted in the MDD group, whereas responses to positive events were enhanced. NA responses to negative events persisted longer in MDD participants. Depressed participants with a positive family history of longer current episodes showed relatively greater NA responses to negative events.