Age effects on trustworthiness activation and trust biases in face perception

OBJECTIVE: Older adults evaluate faces as being more trustworthy than do younger adults. The present work examined whether aging is associated with changes in the dynamic activation of trustworthiness categories toward faces, and if category activation relates to enhanced trust. METHOD: Younger and older adults categorized faces as trustworthy or untrustworthy while computer mouse trajectories were recorded to measure dynamic category activation. RESULTS: Older, but not younger, adults had more dynamic category activation (i.e., trustworthy and untrustworthy) when they viewed untrustworthy versus trustworthy faces. This tendency predicted a bias (pronounced with age) toward evaluating faces as being trustworthy. DISCUSSION: A pronounced trust bias in aging may be related to greater dynamic activation of trustworthiness (vs untrustworthiness) when perceiving faces.

Publication Date:
May 26 2018
Date Submitted:
Jun 28 2019
Journals of Gerontology, Series B
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 Record created 2019-06-28, last modified 2019-07-24

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