Can an Elderly Stereotype Prime Degrade Performance on a Simulated Surgical Task?
Keywords: stereotypes, MIS, medical
Abstract: Automaticity literature has clearly demonstrated that the mere activation of stereotypes can have a negative impact on a perceiver’s own behavior. If this finding transfers to the context of minimally invasive surgery (MIS), it is important to be aware of these effects and fully understand the implications. The current study looks at the possibility that the behavioral effects of automatic stereotype activation could occur during MIS. Specifically, will an elderly prime result in slower performance? Participants that received the elderly prime were slower and had more errors when completing trials after the prime than participants that received the young prime. These results suggest that surgical performance may be affected by stereotypes and the increased error rates found in the elderly population may not be due solely to the complexity of their care.