Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Gordon, Nakia S.

Second Advisor

Hoelzle, James

Third Advisor

Nielson, Kristy


The experience of emotion is a critical component of behavior, cognition, and general human functioning. In order to better understand emotional experience, researchers have utilized mood induction procedures (MIPs) to elicit specific emotional responses. Previous studies have reviewed the effectiveness of various MIPs; however, these studies do not account for more recently developed picture datasets and are limited in their examination of the impact that personal relevance has on MIP effectiveness. The present study examined changes in emotion using four different MIPs that varied based on stimuli type (either Picture or Vignette) and relevance to the participant (Personally Relevant or Standardized). Additionally, factors related to social desirability, emotion regulation and expression, emotional functioning, and personality were evaluated to determine possible influences of MIP effectiveness. Seventy-eight undergraduates participated in the study. Results indicated no differences in the effectiveness of Picture and Vignette MIPs. However, MIPs based on personally relevant stimuli were more effective that those based on standardized stimuli. Only the Personally Relevant Positive Vignette MIP was significantly correlated with social desirability, emotional functioning, and personality variables. Generally, these results suggest that researchers may benefit from tapping into the personally relevant emotional experiences of their participants. However, given small effect sizes for the direct comparison of MIPs, researchers may also want to consider other factors (e.g., constraints of the experimental environment) when choosing which MIPs to use.