Age priming


Recognition of familiar faces is one of the important things in our day to day life as we interact socially. At times difficulties are experienced in identifying similar faces at an early age (Young, Hay, & Ellis, 1985) stated that it is familiar face recognition changes with time as one approach old age. The processing rate of familiar faces is said to change with time as one approaches old age and is seen as very important research not only to help in the process of face recognition but also as a broader tool of theoretical interest. Age affects different abilities in the life of an individual. The first ability it affects is the cognitive abilities then the fluid abilities and crystallized abilities. This, in turn, leads to losing of familiar face recognition.

Have any questions about the topic? Our Experts can answer any question you have. They are avaliable to you 24/7.
Ask now


A research was carried out to determine whether familiar face recognition is really affected by age difference. The study revealed that the performance of face recognition at an early age is very good and it decreases as one approaches old age. The study also revealed that learning of new faces recognition is at peak when one is the early 30s and is seen to decline as one age and at 65 years the performance is seen as very different with a 16 years old performance (Germine et al., 2011). A number of research were carried out to try and confirm these results and it is very clear that as one approach old age the likelihood of having slower face recognition is very high.

Statistics were corrected to bring the research into a data set form in order to confirm what the researchers hypothetically predicted. The results obtained showed that there are a close relationship between the determining familiar face recognition and age-related differences.

The results can also be explained using a model like the diffusion model whereby at first the rate of information accumulation was examined as it is one of the main contributors when it comes to face recognition. The results showed that familiar face recognition depends on the information that one can diffuse and the amount of time that it takes before giving feedback. As one approaches old age the rate of information accumulation decreases in most cases and the amount of needed to before a decision is made (Galinsky, Maddux, Gilin, & White, 2008; Hansen & Wänke, 2009), Kawakami et al. (2002). To add on to that the theoretical speculations are confirmed whereby when an individual is exposed to a given interaction with a member of a certain social category, that person prepares to interact with that person according to his social category.

The results and their implications for theories of cognitive aging and person recognition were discussed in details. One of them is the immediate repetition priming whereby it was observed that at domain-specific representations decays faster in older adults which in turn leads to smaller priming effect which is both behavioral as well as neural level. Second is the semantic priming which was in contrast with the results from the immediate repetition priming whereby similar semantic priming effects were observed in both the young and older adults. This didn’t alter our result or our findings because it only gave the results from what was observed as far as semantic priming is observed but when it came to the ability to give the response or when it came to the rate of information accumulation, the young have a higher rate of information accumulation than the older adults. Although individuals semantic is believed to represent the interior being, in this case, they may appear the same but they do not give the response rate which in the young people is better than in the elderly people.

The present series of experiments is said to provide both behavioral as well as ERP evidence for the age-related difference when it comes to face and person recognition. Moreover, the results show that domain-specific general representation of a familiar face is said to work less efficiently whereas semantic representation gives a larger intact. This gives us a conclusion that both the post-perpetual and perpetual representation of an individual is more vulnerable to the elderly as compared to the young. The findings are also in line with the theoretic findings which were developed in the cognitive literature about the familiar face recognition by giving specific modifications when it comes to the older age.

The hypothesis is to determine whether familiar face recognition is affected by age-related differences. From the article, it is clear that there is familiar face recognition is affected by age-related differences. This is clear where the elderly takes time when it comes to familiar face recognition as compared to the young.



Baayen, R. H. (2008). Analyzing linguistic data: A practical introduction to statistics using R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Cesario, J., & Jonas, K. J. (2014). Replicability and models of priming: What a resource computation framework can tell us about expectations of replicability. In D. C. Molden (Ed.), Understanding priming effects in social psychology (p. 129). New York: Guilford.

Loersch, C., & Payne, B. K. (2011). The situated inference model an integrative account of the effects of primes on perception, behavior, and motivation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(3), 234-252

Pashler, H., Coburn, N., & Harris, C. R. (2012). Priming of social distance? Failure to replicate effects on social and food judgments. PloS One, 7(8), e42510

Wigboldus, D., Sherman, J. W., Franzese, H. L., & van Knippenberg, A. (2004). Capacity and comprehension: Spontaneous stereotyping under cognitive load. Social Cognition, 22, 292-309.