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The differential effects of the induction of depressive, worrisome, somatic anxiety, and neutral moods on pessimism and certainty about future events: Implications for the anxiety-depression link

Charles Bernard Powers, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

This study was designed to determine the differential effects of the inductions of depressive, worrisome, somatic anxiety, and neutral moods on pessimism and certainty about future events. The central idea was that worry may act as a bridge between anxiety and depression by contributing to the development of a negative future event schema which would be manifested as increasing pessimism and depressive predictive certainty from somatic anxiety to worry to depression.^ Conceptualizing depressive predictive certainty in terms of automatic future event predictions, the study was designed to determine whether subjects who were induced to feel depressed mood make more negative and automatic predictions about future events than subjects induced to feel worrisome mood, and those induced to feel worrisome mood make more pessimismtic and automatic predictions than subjects induced to feel somatically anxious mood. The design of this study was a 4 (Mood Condition) x 2 (Attentional Load versus No Attentional Load) x 2 (Valence of Event) x 2 (Response Type), with the first variable a between subjects factor and the latter three repeated measures variables. Two hundred subjects were randomly assigned to one of the four mood induction conditions and were asked to rate, as quickly as possible, positive and negative future events.^ Results of the mood inductions showed that while the mood inductions were successful, the effects were global. That is, whether the subjects were induced to feel somatic anxiety, worry, or depression, their ratings on all three mood-adjectives increased, whereas subjects in the neutral condition did not report increases in mood-adjective ratings. Results of pessimism revealed that, overall, subjects responded more positively than negatively. Subjects in the Depression Condition responded less positively and more negatively than the subjects in the other three conditions, though the only significant difference was between Depression and the Neutral Condition. Subjects in the Somatic Anxiety Condition followed the Depression Condition in that they endorsed fewer positive and more negative future events than both the Worry and the Neutral Conditions, though only the difference between the Neutral Condition was significant. The Worry Condition subjects endorsed more positive items and fewer negative items than the Somatic Anxiety and Depression subjects, but this was not significant. Response latency data (i.e., automaticity as certainty) showed that the trends of the means were not in the hypothesized direction. That is, the smallest difference between attentional load and no-load was in the Depressed Condition, followed by the Neutral Condition, the Somatic Anxiety Condition, and the Worry Condition.^ Results are discussed in terms of their implications for the relationship between somatic anxiety, worry, and depression. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Charles Bernard Powers, "The differential effects of the induction of depressive, worrisome, somatic anxiety, and neutral moods on pessimism and certainty about future events: Implications for the anxiety-depression link" (January 1, 1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI9737571.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9737571

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