Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Michael A. Zarate


Memory is a flexible system that integrates new incoming information into existing memory representations (Stickgold & Walker, 2007). Through sleep and over time, memories become stable via consolidation processes (Payne, Stickgold, Swanberg & Kensinger, 2008). Prejudice formation can occur through the consolidation of stereotype schemas. In a previous study Latino participants learned positive and negative trait information about in-group and out-group members (Enge, Lupo & Zárate, 2015). At test, participants responded more quickly to out-group targets paired with negative traits than in-group pairings with these traits. Findings indicate that participants also responded more quickly to in-group targets paired with positive traits indicating a positivity bias towards one’s own group. The present study aims to replicate these findings and further examine this in-group response bias. The negativity bias was investigated to test if threat-based actions, both positive and negative, are better integrated over time. Threat response type behaviors, such as prosocial acts are promoted between in-groups as opposed to out-groups (Penner, et al., 2004). Furthermore, individuals tend to associate out-groups to various forms of threats (Cottrell & Neuberg, 2005). In the current study, participants learned both positive and negative information that was threat and non-threat related about in and out group members. Participants returned back twice for test sessions, 6 (+/− 2) hours and 48 hours post learning phase. Results indicate participants’ responses were consistent with group bias. Furthermore, consolidation effects were prominent for threat related content.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

66 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Stephanie Marie Reyes