The influence of aging on outgroup stereotypes: The mediating role of cognitive and motivational facets of deficient flexibility

Gabriela Czarnek , Małgorzata Kossowska , Grzegorz Sędek


Background/Study Context: The current study was designed to examine previously reported findings about age-related changes in drawing stereotypic inferences; specifically, that older adults are more likely than younger adults to stereotype outgroup members. The study replicates previous research and extends it by exploring the cognitive and motivational facets of deficient flexibility underlying this effect and comparing stereotypes towards ingroup and outgroup members. Methods: In the experiment, younger and older adults read stories that allowed for stereotypic inferences. They also completed the Trail Making Test (TMT) and Need for Closure Scale (NFC) as cognitive and motivational measures of deficient flexibility. Results: The results of the experiment revealed that, compared to younger participants, older adults were more likely to rely upon stereotypic inferences when they read a story about outgroup members; however, there were no age-group differences in using stereotypes when they read a story about ingroup members. In addition, the findings showed that making more stereotypical inferences by older versus younger adults in relation to outgroup members was mediated by cognitive (TMT) and motivational (NFC) facets of deficient flexibility. Conclusion: A major implication of these findings is that both cognitive and motivational facets of deficient flexibility contribute to the reliance of older adults on stereotypes compared with younger adults. However, this is only true when older adults process information about outgroup members, but not about ingroup members. Thus, the current research goes beyond previous results by providing direct evidence that ingroup-outgroup perception contributes to stereotyping among older participants.
Author Gabriela Czarnek
Gabriela Czarnek,,
, Małgorzata Kossowska
Małgorzata Kossowska,,
, Grzegorz Sędek (Wydział Psychologii)
Grzegorz Sędek,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesExperimental Aging Research, ISSN 0361-073X, (A 20 pkt)
Issue year2015
Publication size in sheets1.05
ASJC Classification2717 Geriatrics and Gerontology; 3200 General Psychology; 1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); 1302 Ageing
Languageen angielski
GC-MK-GS-EAR-2015-.pdf of 14-09-2015
402.3 KB
THE INFLUENCE OF AGING_1str..pdf 144.28 KB
Additional file
BROWN_IR-ADV5255_16_0107_001-27.pdf 20.32 KB
Score (nominal)20
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2015 = 0.583; WoS Impact Factor: 2015 = 1.103 (2) - 2015=1.248 (5)
Citation count*12 (2021-02-25)
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