Three experiments investigated the effects of positive mood on perceptions of variability within and between groups. Participants formed impressions of two different and highly variable groups under a neutral or positive mood. When participants expected to learn about both groups, positive mood increased perceived intergroup similarity but did not affect perceived intragroup variability. In contrast, when participants expected to learn about only one group, judgments of intergroup and intragroup similarity were both affected by mood. Mood and the intergroup context influenced the nature and degree of information processing and resultant judgments of variability in social groups.
- Group differentiation