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Gruhn, D., and Jacqui Smith. 2008. "Characteristics for 200 words rated by young and older adults: Age-dependent evaluations of German adjectives (AGE)." Behavior Research Methods, 40(4): 1088-1097.
We describe the Age-Dependent Evaluations of German Adjectives (AGE). This database contains ratings for 200 German adjectives by young and older adults (general word-rating study) and graduate students (self-other relevance study). Words were rated on emotion-relevant (valence, arousal, and control) and memory-relevant (imagery) characteristics. In addition, adjectives were evaluated for self-relevance (Does this attribute describe you?), age relevance (Is this attribute typical for young or for older adults?), and self-other relevance (Is this attribute more relevant for the possessor or for other persons?). These ratings are included in the AGE database as a resource tool for experiments on word material. Our comparisons of young and older adults' evaluations revealed similarities but also significant mean-level differences for a large number of adjectives, especially on the valence dimension. This highlights the importance of age in the perception of emotional words. Data for all the words are archived at www.psychonomic.org/archive/.