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Mood and stereotyping : a self-categorization theory approach

Tweedie, Janet Helen

Description

This thesis examines the role of mood in the social psychological process of stereotyping. We ask the question: how does an individual's mood affect the way in which they perceive both others and themselves in terms of their social identity? This area of research originally developed as an attempt to integrate findings from two important fields: affect and cognition, and group behaviour and stereotyping. Importantly, the overarching meta-theory in which these areas of research have...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorTweedie, Janet Helen
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-20T00:05:43Z
dc.date.available2014-05-20T00:05:43Z
dc.identifier.otherb22028249
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/11691
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the role of mood in the social psychological process of stereotyping. We ask the question: how does an individual's mood affect the way in which they perceive both others and themselves in terms of their social identity? This area of research originally developed as an attempt to integrate findings from two important fields: affect and cognition, and group behaviour and stereotyping. Importantly, the overarching meta-theory in which these areas of research have traditionally been embedded is that of the cognitive miser (Fiske & Taylor, 1984). Previous research has conceptualised stereotypes as somewhat rigid, inflexible by-products of the way in which we perceive our social world. Research has focussed largely on the categorization process as an information reduction mechanism that enables us to cope with our cognitive limitations. Along with this emphasis, stereotyping has been inextricably linked to prejudice and discrimination. About the same time as the cognitive miser metaphor was dominant in stereotyping research, a resurgence of interest into the effects of mood on cognition was in place. This quickly grew into a large and influential body of work that focussed on the way in which mood influences information processing strategies. Positive moods were linked to heuristic processing and negative moods to substantive processing. The integration of these areas of research led to the examination of mood's effects on stereotyping. As stereotypes were seen as a form of cognitive shortcut, they were associated with heuristic processing while individuation was associated with substantive processing strategies. Findings in the area reflected the idea that happy moods are more likely to lead to stereotyping and sad moods to individuation due to these associations. An alternative to the cognitive miser approach however, is that of the perceiver as meaning-seeker (Bruner, 1957; Oakes, 1987; Oakes & Turner, 1991). This conceptualisation is critical to the understanding of categorization within both social identity theory and self-categorization theory. This thesis examines mood and stereotyping from this alternative point of view. We conclude that previous research has failed to account for the truly social psychological context within which stereotypes are formed, maintained and applied, and the social reality of group membership of which stereotypes are a product. Further, the prevailing analysis of mood almost exclusively in terms of its effects on information processing, ignores the link between mood and self-concept which could create a more meaningful interpretation of the role of mood in stereotyping. This thesis presents four experiments which show support for its main argument: that mood influences the use of stereotypes not due to its effect on information strategy choice, but through a context dependent process of self-definition as a group member. Specifically, this thesis argues and shows support for, the idea that mood serves as a contextually relevant aspect of self-concept at the level of social identity due to the match (fit) between perceived in-group valence and valence of the prevailing mood-state.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleMood and stereotyping : a self-categorization theory approach
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorOakes, Penny
dcterms.valid2004
local.description.notesSupervisor: Professor Penny Oakes. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2003
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Psychology
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d739472aef81
local.mintdoimint
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