The effects of age-stereotype priming on the memory performance of older adults

Exp Aging Res. Apr-Jun 2002;28(2):169-81. doi: 10.1080/03610730252800184.

Abstract

The effects of age-stereotype priming on the memory performance of older adults were investigated through a conceptual replication and extension of Levy's (1996. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 1092-1107) study. Sixty young and 60 older adults were subliminally primed with a positive age stereotype, a negative age stereotype, or neutral primes. Memory performance on two tasks (a photo recall task and a dot location task) was measured before and after the priming intervention. Although the study does not provide unequivocal support for Levy's (1996) findings, results did show that priming a negative age stereotype undermined memory performance for a small sample of older adults who were "unaware" of the primes. However, contrary to Levy's findings, priming a positive age stereotype did not increase older adults' memory performance. There were no significant effects of priming positive or negative age stereotypes on the memory performance of young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Middle Aged
  • Stereotyped Behavior*
  • Stereotyping
  • Task Performance and Analysis