Younger and Older Adult Reports of Affect in Familiar and Unfamiliar Persons

Rebecca E. Ready, Gennarina D. Santorelli, Molly A. Mather, Holly Laws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about how people perceive the affective well-being of older and younger adults. In four studies, we compare otherand self-reported trait affect from participants who varied in adult age and familiarity. Our prediction that older adults would be rated by other persons as having poorer well-being than their self-report was not supported. Rather, we found that younger persons were thought by familiar older adults to have better well-being than the young persons reported about themselves; this was not the case for younger familiar raters. Unfamiliar younger adults were rated by younger and older participants as having greater arousal affect than unfamiliar older adults. Misperceptions of well-being may interfere with cross-generation communication and social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-34
Number of pages13
JournalGeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • affect
  • aging
  • emotion
  • older adults
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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