• Dimensions Underlying First Impressions of Older Adult Faces by Young and Older Adult Perceivers

      Twele, Anita; Department of Psychology
      First Impressions (FIs) based on facial cues have significant consequences in real-world contexts and have the potential to influence how older adults (OAs), a vulnerable population, are treated by others. The present study used a data-driven approach to examine dimensions underlying FIs of OAs and whether those dimensions vary by perceiver age. In Experiment 1, young adult (YA) and OA participants provided unconstrained, written descriptions in response to OA faces. From these descriptors, 18 trait categories were identified that were similar, but not identical, across age groups. In Experiment 2, YA and OA participants rated OA faces on the trait words identified for their age group in Experiment 1. In separate principal components analyses, two dimensions of sternness and confidence emerged for OA faces for both YA and OA participant ratings. Our results suggest that there are no significant differences in perceiver age when forming first impressions of OA faces.