Judging Older Targets' Discourse: How Do Age Stereotypes Influence Evaluations?

Sheree T. Kwong See, Robert B. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Young adults viewed then read either good or poor descriptions of a cartoon under the guise that the descriptions were produced by young (aged 21 years), young-old (aged 65 years), or old-old persons (aged 81 years). On a rating of quality, description type interacted with target age. For young targets, good descriptions were judged as good (assimilation to expectation) and poor were rated as very poor (a contrast effect). For young-old targets, for whom expectations were lower than for young targets but not as low as for old-old targets, good performance was perceived as very good and poor performance very poor (contrast effects). For old-old targets for whom negative age stereotyping would lead to lowest expectations for performance, poor was rated as poor (assimilation to expectation) but good performance was rated as very good (a contrast effect). Young raters use a shifting standard to judge the performance of older pe ople.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan. 2004


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