In her Psychology senior thesis, Olga Stanislavova ’12 looked at whether walking speed across an instrumented walkway used in physical therapy practice could be affected by mental categories activated without participant awareness. Individuals covertly presented with verbal materials priming the concepts elderly/passive walked more slowly than individuals primed with the concepts youthful/active. The project was jointly advised by Dr. Steven Robbins, Professor of Psychology, and Dr. Carol Oatis, Professor of Physical Therapy, and was recently accepted for publication by the PT journal Gait and Posture.
Citation: Stanislavova, O., Robbins, S.J., Oatis, C.A. (in press). Nonconscious priming of elderly or youthful stereotypes influences walking velocity in healthy undergraduates. Gait and Posture.