The examination of cognitive versus somatic origins in the experimental induction of depression

This study explored the implications for a cognitive theory of depression derived from research using the Velten Mood Induction Procedure (VMIP). The VMIP (Velten, 1968) was developed to induce depressed, elated and neutral moods in subjects who read sets of condition-appropriate, self-referent statements. Frost, Graf and Becker (1978) performed research designed to examine whether the VMIP's effectiveness in inducing depressed affect was due to the self-devaluative nature of the statements or to somatic suggestions of low energy states contained in many of the statements. Their findings supported the somatic suggestion hypothesis for the VMIP’s effectiveness in inducing depressed mood. This study is a replication of that performed by Frost et al. with one alteration. While Frost et al., as well as previous studies the VMIP, used only a female subject population, the present research included male subjects and examined the data toward a possible differential effectiveness of the VMIP with regard to subject sex. (See more in text.)