Emotional stereotypes on trial: Implicit emotion associations for young and old adults.


Individuals use naïve emotion theories, including stereotypical information on the emotional disposition of an interaction partner, to form social impressions. In view of an aging population in Western societies, beliefs on emotion and age become more and more relevant. Across 10 studies, we thus present findings on how individuals associate specific affective states with young and old adults using the emotion implicit association test. The results of the studies are summarized in 2 separate mini meta-analyses. Participants implicitly associated young adult individuals with positive emotions, that is, happiness and serenity, respectively, and old adult individuals with negative emotions, that is, sadness and anger, respectively (Mini Meta-Analysis 1). Within negative emotions, participants preferentially associated young adult individuals with sadness and old adult individuals with anger (Mini Meta-Analysis 2). Even though young and old adults are stereotypically associated with specific emotions, contextual factors influence which age-emotion stereotype is salient in a given context.