Social Categorisation but not Individuation Motivation is related to the Own-Age Bias

Belinda M. Craig, Emily M. Thorne

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We tend to be more accurate to recognise faces of people similar in age to us than people much younger or older than us, an effect termed the own-age bias. One explanation for this bias is that unfamiliar own- and other-age faces are quickly categorised by their age when first encountered. Based on this initial categorisation, other-age faces are deemed less socially relevant and are processed more superficially, with attention to category relevant characteristics, whereas own-age faces are processed in more detail with attention to individuating characteristics. This subsequently leads to better recognition of own-age than other-age faces. Based on this explanation, the own-age bias should be reduced when participants are instructed to individuate of other-age faces. Additionally, the magnitude of the own-age bias should be related to relatively faster categorisation of other-age than own-age faces. To test this, participants were presented with a number of young and older adult faces to remember. Half of the participants were given instructions to individuate the older adult faces. In a separate task, participants also categorised the same faces by their age as quickly and accurately as possible. In a subsequent recognition phase, participants were more accurate recognising young adult than older adult faces. The magnitude of this own-age bias was not influenced by individuation instructions but it was positively correlated with a tendency to categorise other-age faces more quickly than own-age faces. These results suggest that social categorisation processes (but not individuation motivation) contribute to the own-age bias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages44
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event45th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology - Hobart Function and Conference Centre, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 4 Apr 20187 Apr 2018
Conference number: 45th
https://www.conferences.com.au/2018epc/

Conference

Conference45th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology
Abbreviated titleEPC
CountryAustralia
CityHobart
Period4/04/187/04/18
Internet address

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