Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The investigation discussed herein sought to (a) examine the relationship between curiosity and depression, (b) investigate the effects of induced mood on factors of surprise, perceived value of information, and desire for additional knowledge, and (c) examine the duration of the Velten (1968) mood induction procedure effects. Thirty-nine female and 21 male college students were randomly assigned to one of three mood induction conditions: a depression mood condition, an elation mood condition, or a neutral mood condition. A screening procedure utilized by Thomas, McFarland, Lane, and Ellis (1984) was employed so that subjects reporting initial signs of depression prior to the mood induction procedure could be excluded from the experimental conditions. The mood induction procedure employed in this investigation required that each group of subjects read 60 statements designed to aid the subjects in experiencing the desired mood state. The neutral mood condition served as the control group. The Depression Adjective Checklist (DACL), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) short form, and a writing speed task (WST) were used as pre-induction measures. The Melbourne Curiosity Inventory state (MCI-s) form, Melbourne Curiosity Inventory trait (MCI-t) form, Experiment Descriptions Inventory (EDI), DACL, and WST served as post-induction measures. The BDI short form and the DACL were used as 10 minute follow-up measures. Results indicated that the Velten (1968) mood induction procedure was effective at inducing the desired mood states as measured at post-induction. However, depressed subjects did report a slightly significant improvement in mood following a 10 minute waiting period. Separate analyses conducted on state curiosity scores revealed that depressed subjects reported significantly less state curiosity than elated or neutral subjects. There were no significant differences between the groups on a measure of trait curiosity. For the EDI data, subjects in the depression mood condition reported significantly less perceived value and desire for additional knowledge for the 10 experiment descriptions than either the elated or neutral subjects. The clinical and experimental implications of these findings, in addition to the ethical issues pertaining to the use of mood induction procedures, are discussed.


Kenneth Olson

Date of Award

Fall 1984

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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