Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
This study examines the perceptions that individuals have about the social decisions of others and the role that age plays in these perceptions. In this study, older and young adults read a vignette in which Clare (either 80 or 20-years-old) chose a social partner (either close friend or new acquaintance). Older adults rated Older Clare more favorably when she chose a close relationship and they rated Younger Clare more favorably when she chose the new experience. Young adults showed more mixed results. Unlike older adults, young adults rated Older Clare more favorably when she chose the new experience rather than the close relationship, but found Younger Clare to be more likable but less appropriate when she chose the new experience. Differing preferences may lead to intergenerational misunderstandings where both generations prefer that the other generation seek new experiences, but prefer their own generation remain with close friends. Results are discussed in light of socioemotional selectivity and social identity theories.
BF1 .M63 v. 17 no. 2 2012
Sutton, Roberta; Wagner, Lisa S.; and Cook, Kathleen E.
"Perceptions of social decisions made by individuals of different ages,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 17
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol17/iss2/3