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Youna Dion Marcoux, Caroline Blais, Daniel Fiset, Arianne Goulet, Chloë Pruneau, Hélène Forget; Visual representation of age as a function of the level of ageism. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1221. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1221.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recently, it has been shown that visual representations of ethnic outgroup faces are negatively biased in prejudiced individuals (Dotsch et al., 2008). The present study verified if the visual representations of young vs. old-aged prototypical individuals are influenced by the level of ageism of the observer. In phase 1 of the experiment, 28 young participants (Mage=20.43) took part in a reverse correlation task (Mangini & Biederman, 2004). On each trial, two stimuli were created by adding visual noise to a base face (i.e. morph of 40 young and 40 old faces), and were simultaneously presented to the participant. The task was to indicate which one was the most prototypical of the young-aged group (500 trials), or of the old-aged group (500 trials). The implicit age bias was measured with the Implicit Association Test (Lane et al., 2007). For each participant, the visual representation of the young-aged group (vs. old-aged group) was revealed by summing the noise fields of the stimuli selected as the most typical of the young-aged (vs. old-aged) group. In phase 2, 24 naive participants were asked to estimate, on a scale from 11 to 101, the age of the individual visual representations measured in phase 1. The average estimate across the judge participants was calculated for each of the individual visual representation. The age estimates of the visual representations of the nine participants with the highest vs. lowest level of ageism were compared. For the visual representation of the young-aged group, we found no effet of the level of ageism [Mhigh=28.86; Mlow=29.97; t(23)=1.55, p=0.13]. However, we showed that the visual representation of a prototypical old-aged individual is older in the mind of the high ageism individuals [Mhigh=44.30; Mlow=40.92; t(23)=-4.19, p=0.0004]. Thus, our results suggest that ageism alters the perception of old-aged individuals by making them appear older.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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