Prior research has found that positive affect, compared to negative affect, increases stereotype activation. In four experiments the authors explore whether the link between affect and stereotype activation depends on the relative accessibility of stereotype-relevant thoughts and response tendencies. As well as manipulating mood, the authors measured or manipulated the accessibility of egalitarian response tendencies (Experiments 1 and 2) and counterstereotypic thoughts (Experiments 2 through 4). In the absence of such response tendencies and thoughts, people in positive moods displayed greater stereotype activation-consistent with past research. By contrast, in the presence of accessible egalitarian response tendencies or counterstereotypic thoughts, people in positive moods exhibited less stereotype activation than those in negative moods. Implications of these results for existing affect-cognition models are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Implicit social cognition
- Social cognition
- Stereotype activation