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Judgments of Chronological Age: Adult Age and Sex Differences NICHD

Kogan, Nathan
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Age Differences, Cognitive Processes, Older Adults, Sex Differences, Visual Stimuli, Young Adults


Samples of college-age and elderly males and females made chronological age estimates from head-and-shoulder photographs of stimulus persons of both sexes and of widely varying ages. These estimates were found to vary as a function of the age and sex of the judge and the stimulus person. For both male and female photo sets, older Ss and male Ss manifested less variance than younger Ss and female Ss in judging age. These differences were partially attributable to a strong tendency for older Ss and male Ss to offer higher age estimates for the younger stimulus persons. No consistent age and sex differences were observed for chronological age estimates of the older stimulus persons. However, an inflection area was obtained (for photosapproximately 25 to 35 years of age) beyond which the higher age estimates of older and male Ss ceased to hold. Gaps in the distribution of age judgments provided by older and younger Ss offered clues to the possible cognitive mechanisms at work. Relevance of the research to principles of social judgment is discussed. (33pp.)

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