Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Stuart Hall

Commitee Members

Craig McFarland, Erin Semmens


age based stereotype threat, neuropsychological assessment, cognitive performance


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Behavioral Neurobiology | Cognitive Neuroscience | Cognitive Psychology | Geropsychology


The present study examined the effects of age-based stereotype threat (ABST) exposure on cognitive performance in older adults. Forty-nine community volunteers age 65 and older were stratified by age and gender and then randomly assigned to either an ABST group or a Control group. The ABST group read a paragraph describing the expected negative effects of age on cognition and the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. Participants in the Control group read a neutral paragraph of similar length and difficulty. It was hypothesized that individuals in the ABST group would perform worse on neuropsychological testing than individuals in the Control group. Specifically, it was hypothesized that participants in the ABST group would score lower on combined neuropsychological measures of memory, attention, executive function, and processing speed which are commonly used to assess cognitive function in older adults in neuropsychological settings.

Results suggest that no significant difference exists between participants in the ABST versus the control group on objective cognitive performance in any of the predicted domains. Implications of these findings as well as limitations and future research directions are discussed.


© Copyright 2019 Cali Caughie