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Title: The development of perception of age in a face
Author: Lees, Andrea Mary
ISNI:       0000 0001 3607 6427
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis examines the way in which facial age is perceived by children and by adults of different ages. Edwards and Lewis (1978) argue that age is the first concept to be acquired preceding even that of gender, and that age is also heavily linked with status issues for children (Laupa and Turiel, 1986). It was therefore anticipated that the age of a facial stimulus would hold important implications for children, and be well perceived by them. Experiment One investigated the effect that age of a facial stimulus had upon the face recognition decisions of children. It was found from this experiment that age of the stimulus face affected children's face recognition decisions in such a way that, when opposite-aged faces were responded to, the usual 'recognition faster than categorisation' effect predicted by the Bruce and Young (1986) model was reversed. It was proposed that the 'adult status' possessed by the opposite-aged faces promoted in the children a concentration upon information based at the superficial visually derived level rather than the deeper identity level. The salience/importance of age to children, as a cue that can be visually derived from faces, was then investigated in Experiment Two, a card sorting task. This task found that in comparison with race and gender cues, age appeared to assume particular salience to older children (11 year olds), but not younger children (7 year olds). Experiment Three investigated the reliability of the card sorting task for identifying cue saliency. It comprised administration of the same task twice over a two week interval. It was found that the type of criterion chosen to sort the cards by was not consistent over time, however, a possible reason for this may have been the children's ideas regarding experimenter expectation i.e. the implications of asking a child to do something twice may suggest that s/he had been wrong in his/her choice the first time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology