Development of experimental mood induction procedures for testing personality-event interaction models of depression.
Cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic theorists have suggested recently that depressions may be differentiated on the basis of two sets of personality characteristics that each create emotional vulnerability to a different specific class of events. The present paper reports the development of two mood induction procedures that may be useful in testing this specific interactional approach. In these inductions, subjects listen to an audiotape that depicts either a series of social rejections or achievement failures and are instructed to imagine themselves as the main character. Both tapes were found to produce a strong increase in reported depressed affect in a sample of normal undergraduates (N = 119). These effects were large in comparison to those elicited by other mood induction procedures. Women reported greater mood shifts than men in response to both tapes. The present procedures have the advantage of content specificity that permits tests of personality-event interaction hypotheses.
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