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Rahhal, Hasher, & Colcombe, 2001

These studies examined the role of stereotype threat in accounting for memory deficits in older adults. 
In two experiments, younger (average age = 19.5  & 19.3 years, respectively) and older participants (average age = 69.4 years, range = 61-75 & 67.8, 60-74, respectively) completed a memory task under instructions that either emphasized (e.g., "we are interested in how good your memory is") or de-emphasized (e.g., "we are interested in your ability to learn facts") that memory was being assessed. Participants were presented with trivia statements, were told which statements were true and which were false, and, after a delay, they had to complete a recognition memory test for true versus false statements. Older adults performed worse than young adults under the instructions that emphasized memory, but they performed as well as the young adults in the memory de-emphasized condition. When negative stereotypes about aging and memory were highlighted, memory performance was negatively affected. 

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