Mood Induction in the Wild: Examination of a Brief and Mobile Negative Affect Induction for Use in Psychobiological and Field Research

Mohammad I. Habib, Leah N. Hitchcock, & L. Cinnamon Bidwell, Institute for Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80301-0334 Mohammad I. Habib & L. Cinnamon Bidwell, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0345

Introduction: Over 18% of the US population exhibits negative affect, and despite the high prevalence, there exists a lack of brief, mobile measures of negative affect. The novel negative affect induction task (NAIT) aims to combine subjective self-reported affect (SRA) with objective heart rates (HR) to create a dual modal measurement, assessing negative affect in mobile or clinical research. This study investigated whether the NAIT induces a reaction from rumination and a recovery from focused breathing, and whether baseline Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales  (DASS) scores affected performance on the NAIT. 

Methods: Participants (N=158, Mage=32 years, 61.4% Female) experiencing mild to moderate anxiety completed the DASS and the NAIT. During the NAIT, participants self-reported their current affect (worst to best feeling scored -50 to +50) and underwent HR measurements at each of the three NAIT phases: Baseline (Prior to any knowledge of the NAIT), Post-Rumination (Directly after three minutes of rumination), and Post-Breathing (Directly after three minutes of focused breathing).

Results: NAIT phase significantly altered SRA and HR, such that SRA decreased Post-Rumination but increased Post-Breathing, while HR increased Post-Rumination and remained elevated Post-Breathing. Participants who exhibited greater levels of depression (DASS) endorsed lower SRA overall.  SRA scores significantly correlated across NAIT phase and to HR within each phase. 

Conclusions: The NAIT simultaneously measures objective and subjective responses (that correlate to clinical negative affect metrics) after rumination and focused breathing. The valid, brief, and dynamic negative affect measure can be used in acute behavioral, experimental, or clinical studies and/or mobile research environments. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Mohammad Habib

Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6662