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Psychol Aging. 2006 Sep;21(3):621-5.

Age-related variation in the influences of aging stereotypes on memory in adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 27695-7650, USA.


Adults 24-86 years of age read positive or negative information about aging and memory prior to a memory test. The impact of this information on recall performance varied with age. Performance in the youngest and oldest participants was minimally affected by stereotype activation. Adults in their 60s exhibited weak effects consistent with the operation of stereotype threat, whereas middle-age adults exhibited a contrast effect in memory performance, suggestive of stereotype lift. Beliefs about aging and memory were also affected by stereotypic information, and older adults' changed beliefs were more important in predicting performance than was exposure to stereotype-based information alone.

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