Poster C37, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Age-Related Stereotype Threat Effects on Metacognition
Natasha Fourquet1, Barbara J Knowlton1, Castel Alan1; 1University of California, Los Angeles
Aging is associated with negative stereotypes about memory. When older adults are reminded of these stereotypes prior to a task, their performance is negatively affected. The current study used a value directed remembering paradigm to see whether stereotype threat affects metacognitive processes in older adults. Participants were assigned to a neutral (Mage=64.17) or negative (Mage=68.00) condition. Participants in the negative condition read a passage on memory decline in older adults, while those in the neutral condition read about preserved cognitive abilities. Both groups completed a gambling task that asked them to bet on the likelihood that they would remember a particular word. If they recalled the word they bet on they received the amount of points the word was worth (points shown on the screen), but lost those points if they failed to recall it. No significant differences were found between conditions in number of bets or amount of words recalled. However, participants in the negative condition obtained a significantly lower score than those in the neutral condition (F(2,84)= 6.59,p=.002). These groups also showed significant differences in calibration scores (i.e., number of bets-number of words recalled; t(42)=2.07, p=.045), suggesting that participants in the negative group were making more ineffective bets. These findings suggest that when older adults are under stereotype threat, their ability to make accurate judgments about their memory is reduced. Furthermore, these results highlight that stereotype threat disrupts metacognitive processes in older adults, and that these effects on metacognition may be more robust than effects on memory performance.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development & aging