This study is a follow-up of a pilot completed for a Research Methods course in fall, 2010. The hypothesis for the pilot was that induced positive mood would increase gender stereotyping compared to induced neutral mood in a sample of Community College subjects. The independent variable was mood and the levels were induced elevated mood and induced neutral mood. The dependent variables were related to gender stereotyping and included gender-specific ratings of aggressiveness, concern for others, communication skills, and assertiveness. The hypothesis was not supported by our data. The only significant result was from the t-test for mean ratings of female assertiveness between the elevated mood and neutral mood groups. Induced elevated mood actually appeared to have decreased stereotyping of female assertiveness as compared with induced neutral mood. However, the theory that temporary moods can affect our judgments and views of other people is consistent with our results for female assertiveness.
The follow-up study utilized a larger sample to test the original hypothesis that induced positive mood increases gender stereotyping compared to induced neutral mood. The procedure was slightly modified to reduce various selection threats to validity. Significant results were found from the t-test for mean ratings of male assertiveness and male aggressiveness between the elevated and neutral mood groups, but, as in the pilot study, were in the opposite direction from what was hypothesized. Induced elevated mood appears to have decreased stereotyping of male assertiveness and male aggressiveness as compared with induced neutral mood. Both the pilot and current study support that induced elevated mood decreases gender stereotyping as compared with induced neutral mood.