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On the induction of depressed mood in the laboratory: Evaluation and comparison of the velten and musical procedures

University Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, U.K.
Advances in Behaviour Research and Therapy 12/1983; 5(1):27-49. DOI: 10.1016/0146-6402(83)90014-0

ABSTRACT Two techniques for inducing depressed mood in the laboratory are described and evaluated. The Velten mood induction procedure has been shown to mimic the effects of naturally occurring depressed mood on a wide range of variables, some of which are unlikely to be susceptible to faking. It therefore appears that the Velten depression induction produces a state which is a good analogue of mild, naturally occurring retarded depression. However, between 30% and 50% of subjects fail to respond to the Velten. This makes it cumbersome for research purposes and raises questions about the generalizability of results obtained using it. The Musical mood induction procedure has been less extensively researched than the Velten. However the available evidence suggests that it also produces a good analogue of mild, naturally occurring retarded depression. In addition, it has the advantage that almost all subjects respond to it. Some commentators have taken the fact that the Velten procedure can induce depressed mood as evidence for the cognitive theory of depression. It is argued that this conclusion is invalid as it makes unwarranted assumptions about the strategies subjects use in order to change mood during the Velten procedure. Several practical points relating to the use of Velten and Musical induction procedures are discussed.

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