Age-Related Equivalence of Identity Suppression in the Stroop Color-Word Task

Document Type



Psychology (Scripps)

Publication Date



Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Previous failures to find reliable identity suppression (identity negative priming) in older adults have led to conclusions that older adults suffer from an impairment in the inhibitory component of selective attention. Here, 2 experiments using the Stroop procedure found identity suppression in older adults that was both reliable and equivalent to that in younger adults. Experiment 1 with repeated target colors produced correlations consistent with an episodic retrieval explanation of identity suppression, Experiment 2 without repeated targets produced correlations inconsistent with the episodic retrieval interpretation. These patterns were found for both younger and older adults. No evidence was found for reduced identity suppression that would be consistent with a general inhibitory impairment in older adults.

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© 1997 American Psychological Association

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