Self-devaluation and depressed mood

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Abstract

E. Velten's (1968) mood induction procedure (VMIP) has been used in a variety of studies to induce depressed moods. Its effectiveness has been attributed to the self-devaluative nature of its statements, and it has been used as support for cognitive self-evaluation theories of depression. An alternative hypothesis is that suggestions of somatic states characteristic of depression, which are found in nearly half of the VMIP depression statements, account for the effectiveness of the procedure. 60 female college students were randomly assigned to 5 groups: VMIP depression, VMIP elation, VMIP neutral, somatic suggestion, and self-devaluation. The VMIP depression statements were divided into those that suggest somatic states characteristic of depression, (e.g., fatigue and exhaustion) and those that are self-devaluative, (e.g., statements of low self-worth) to form the somatic suggestion and self-devaluation conditions. Somatic suggestion Ss reported more depressed mood than neutral Ss. Somatic suggestion Ss also reported more depressed mood than self-devaluation Ss on several measures. Results support a somatic suggestion hypothesis and offer no support for self-devaluative interpretations of VMIP effects. This limits the support VMIP studies offer to cognitive self-evaluation theories of depression. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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