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.
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2018|
|Event||45th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology - Hobart Function and Conference Centre, Hobart, Australia|
Duration: 4 Apr 2018 → 7 Apr 2018
Conference number: 45th
|Conference||45th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology|
|Period||4/04/18 → 7/04/18|