Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Kathryn A Howard

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Kevin Apple

Abstract

Seventy-eight participants were randomly assigned to receive either a serene, neutral, or fearful mood induction, followed by either a neutral salience or mortality salience induction. After these manipulations, participants read a political essay that opposed their world view. Participants then completed several measures examining how much they liked/did not like the author of the essay, along with a measure assessing their opinion on an ethnic out-group. It was hypothesized that participants who received the serene mood induction would derogate the author of the opposing essay and ethnic out-group members significantly less than those who received the fearful or neutral mood manipulation. After conducting a 2 x 3 ANOVA, no significant interactions were found between mood and salience, but there were several main effects of mood and salience that approached significance. However, exploratory analysis revealed that participants in the fearful mood condition derogated the ethnic out-group significantly more than those in the neutral or serene mood conditions. Additionally, participants in the mortality salience condition derogated the author of the essay significantly more than those in the neutral salience condition.

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