Characteristics for 200 words rated by young and older adults: age-dependent evaluations of German adjectives (AGE)

Behav Res Methods. 2008 Nov;40(4):1088-97. doi: 10.3758/BRM.40.4.1088.


We describe the Age-Dependent Evaluations of German Adjectives (AGE). This database contains ratings for 200 German adjectives by young and older adults (general word-rating study) and graduate students (self-other relevance study). Words were rated on emotion-relevant (valence, arousal, and control) and memory-relevant (imagery) characteristics. In addition, adjectives were evaluated for self-relevance (Does this attribute describe you?), age relevance (Is this attribute typical for young or for older adults?), and self-other relevance (Is this attribute more relevant for the possessor or for other persons?). These ratings are included in the AGE database as a resource tool for experiments on word material. Our comparisons of young and older adults' evaluations revealed similarities but also significant mean-level differences for a large number of adjectives, especially on the valence dimension. This highlights the importance of age in the perception of emotional words. Data for all the words are archived at

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Linguistics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Speech Perception
  • Vocabulary*