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Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 65–78 | Cite as

An influence of positive affect on social categorization

  • Alice M. Isen
  • Paula M. Niedenthal
  • Nancy Cantor
Article

Abstract

This study investigated the influence of positive affect on social categorization. Subjects in whom positive affect had been induced, and control subjects, were asked to indicate the degree to which good and weak examples of positive and negative person categories fit those categories. Positive-affect subjects rated weak exemplars of positive, but not of negative, trait categories as better members of the categories than did control subjects. Results are interpreted as consistent with a growing literature suggesting that positive affect may involve increased cognitive flexibility in the way people relate positive or neutral ideas to one another, and increased access to multiple meanings of nonnegative cognitive material.

Keywords

Control Subject Social Psychology Positive Affect Cognitive Flexibility Social Categorization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice M. Isen
    • 1
  • Paula M. Niedenthal
    • 2
  • Nancy Cantor
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthaca
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore

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