Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jane Berry


To examine possible mechanisms related to negative attitudes of aging revealed in face processing patterns, young and old participants rated their first impressions (positive or negative) of 100 faces of young and old individuals taken from the CAL/PAL Fate Database (Minear & Park, 2004) while gaze patterns were recorded using eye-tracking methods. In a follow-up study, an independent sample of young participants rated the same 100 faces on competence, attractiveness, and subjective age in order to further assess age-related stereotypes. This study replicated the T-gaze pattern in previous eye-tracking studies (Firestone, Turk, Browne, & Ryan 2007). We also found evidence of a positivity effect exhibited by older adults on two measures of positivity. Further analyses of measures of perceptions of aging revealed that young faces were viewed more positively on dimensions of attractiveness and competence. These findings are in line with research on a negative aging stereotypes. The current study is grounded in social- cognitive theories of stereotyping and has implications for older adults as targets of discrimination and social distancing (Chasteen, 2005).

Included in

Psychology Commons