Reaction Paper to a Controversial Article

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Reaction Paper to aControversial Article

The article &quotHappiness and stereotypic thinking in socialjudgement&quot was written by Bodenhausen, Susser, and Kramer with aparticular interest in how there is a combined relationship betweenemotional theories and stereotypic beliefs. The article elicited alot of controversy surrounding its methodological process with itsdevelopment and testing. Before going through the article, I had theperception that stereotype perception could be an alternativeexplanation for Bodenhausen, Susser, and Kramer`s findings. However,Bodenhausen et al. (1993) made their controversial claim that all thehealthy and happy individuals made a lot of stereotypic judgementsthan all the neutral individuals.

Part of thearticle argues that stereotypical judgements took place even when thehappy individuals were not distracted in cognitive terms. Perhaps, Ithink that the feelings of joy and happiness tend to suppress all thenegative energy, which includes in part stereotyping. When negativityis involved in a person`s consciousness, for example, when asked tomake a sound judgement, a person`s thoughts then become more negativethat it was initially. The article in its original sense draws a lotof controversies, especially with the way in which the participantsused during the research rated targets positively when happy andnegatively when unhappy.

There is also asense of confusion with which negative emotions have an influence onstereotypic judgements. Bodenhausen et al. (1993) suggested thatenthusiastic people applied a lot of automatic mechanism in handlinginformation. However, controversy arises, especially on how unhappypeople take part in conscious and motivated thinking. Again, onewould ask why unhappy people make a lot of stereotypic judgements. Ifat all unhappy individuals are taking part in the processing ofinformation, should it be easier for them to be aware of theirstereotyping?


Bodenhausen, G. V., Kramer, G. P., Susser, K. (1993).Happiness andstereotypic thinking in social judgement. Journal of Personalityand Social Psychology, 66 (4), 624-632. Retrieved from$FILE/Bodenhausen%20et%20al.%201994%20happysteretype.pdf

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