Self-compassion as a resiliency factor against the induction of dysphoric mood
Self-compassion’s relationship to psychological well-being is an emerging area of scientific investigation. Previous research suggests self-compassion has a buffering effect against depression that is partially mediated through the process of rumination. The present study sought to further investigate this issue using a laboratory-based analogue preparation. College students randomly assigned to one of three induction procedures or a control condition reported equivalent increases in dysphoric mood, suggesting the impact of demand characteristics and/or a weak induction effect. This interpretation was also supported by the absence of any differences among the four conditions in performance-based measures reflective of increased dysphoric mood states. Of most relevance to the purpose of this project, there was no relationship between dispositional measures of self-compassion or rumination and changes in any of the self-report and performance-based measures of dysphoric mood, thereby highlighting some of the challenges and limitations in conducting analogue research. A proposed framework for addressing these challenges and guiding further laboratory-based mood induction research is discussed.