Older and Younger Adults' Accuracy in Discerning Health and Competence in Older and Younger Faces

Leslie A. Zebrowitz, Robert Franklin, Jasmine Boshyan, Victor X. Luevano, Stefan Agrigoroaei, Bosiljka Milosavljevic, Margie E. Lachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined older and younger adults’ accuracy judging the health and competence of faces. Accuracy differed significantly from chance and varied with face age but not rater age. Health ratings were more accurate for older than younger faces, with the reverse for competence ratings. Accuracy was greater for low attractive younger faces, but not for low attractive older faces. Greater accuracy judging older faces’ health was paralleled by greater validity of attractiveness and looking older as predictors of their health. Greater accuracy judging younger faces’ competence was paralleled by greater validity of attractiveness and a positive expression as predictors of their competence. Although the ability to recognize variations in health and cognitive ability is preserved in older adulthood, the effects of face age on accuracy and the different effects of attractiveness across face age may alter social interactions across the life span.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454
Number of pages468
JournalPsychology and Aging
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

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