Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Arlene Asuncion

Subject Areas



An important social issue that influences judgments between ingroups and outgroups is how moods influence stereotype judgments. For instance, research on moods has provided evidence that happiness increases stereotype judgments. However, research has not considered the impact of individuals’ ingroup membership and how it may moderate these effects. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential moderating role that ingroup membership may have on the effects of happiness on stereotype judgments. University student participants in a happy or neutral induced mood completed a disciplinary task to assess guilt of either a Hispanic or non-Hispanic suspect of an assault case. A 2 (mood: happy vs neutral) x 2 (stereotype information: present [suspect is Hispanic] vs absent [suspect is non-Hispanic]) x 2 (ethnic group membership: Hispanic [i.e., ingroup] vs non-Hispanic [i.e., outgroup]) between-subjects factorial ANOVA was conducted. The results did not support past research that happiness increases reliance on stereotype judgments. Furthermore, the results did not support the hypothesis that ingroup membership would moderate the relationship by further increasing the effects between happiness and increased reliance on stereotype judgments. Practical directions and implications for future research are discussed.