Age Bias in Laboratory and Field Settings: A Meta-Analytic Investigation1


  • 1

    Portions of this research were presented at the May 2002 meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois. The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions; and Tara Hodges, Karen Sowada, and Christopher King for their assistance with the search process, coding, and the reliability assessment.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Randall A. Gordon, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Duluth, 336 Bohannon Hall, 10 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812-2496. E-mail: rgordon1@d.umn.ed.


A meta-analytic review of age-discrimination research from laboratory and field settings revealed a significant, yet modest overall effect size with younger applicants and workers evaluated more positively than older applicants and workers. The present predictions and findings were compared with those from previous meta-analytic investigations by Kite and Johnson (1988) and by Finkelstein, Burke, and Raju (1995). A number of significant moderational relationships were revealed, including negative linear relationships between the relative generalizability of the research (in terms of participants, setting, and stimulus materials) and effect size. In addition, the type of design used (between-subjects vs. within-subject) and the specific type of dependent measures used to evaluate applicants and workers were found to significantly moderate effect size.