Observing ageism implicitly using the numerical parity judgment task

D. Aisenberg-Shafran, A. Henik, N. Gronau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective magnitude representations may be prone to subjective percepts when judging human beings. An elderly man is clearly “large” in terms of age. But, is he truly perceived as “big” in our minds? We investigated whether “objective” representation of age interacts with subjective stereotypical percepts of aging, using a numeral classification task preceded by prime images containing human figures. First, prime images of children and young adults demonstrated a positive correlation between perceived age and numerical size. Second, negatively and positively valenced prime images were associated with small and big numerical values, respectively. Third, joint effects of age and valence on numerical value perception revealed a linkage between old adults and small numerical values. It seems that magnitude perception is vulnerable to implicit subjective biases and stereotypical judgments dominate objective magnitude representation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21195
Pages (from-to)21195
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Aged
  • Ageism
  • Aging
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Reaction Time
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Young Adult


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