Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

May 2017

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Benjamin Miller

Second Advisor

Andrea Zeren

Third Advisor

Sophia Evett

Abstract

Elders often do poorly on memory tests compared to younger adults, but this may be due in part to elders believing that memory declines with age. Previous research has found that elders who are aware of this negative stereotype freely recall and recognize fewer words than elders who are not aware of this stereotype (Chasteen et al., 2005). In a meta-analysis of previous research, young adults and elders in non-threat groups had a more liberal response criterion and produced more information about what they believe they remembered, whereas elders in the threat group had a more conservative response criterion and produced less uncertain information. This study further investigates this stereotype and how it affects elders’ memory performance after watching a video. The study found that the young adult group had more correct answers from the memory test than the elder threat group and elder non-threat group. The young adult group had a higher d’ than both old groups and the old threat group had the lowest d’. The response criteria fluctuated between each group but not as much as expected. Results have found that young adults do better on a memory test and a stereotype threat can be seen between elders during videos.

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