Self-perception on age and gender study underway

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Perception on age and gender is being put under the microscope with a new UNSW pilot study.

The study will use Apple Watch and iPhone to provide new insights.

More specifically, it will follow 140 adults aged 18-85 for eight weeks. Each participant will use a purpose-built Labs Without Walls research app on an iPhone paired with an Apple Watch.

“The insights our researchers can generate using this new technology is ground-breaking,” UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise Professor Nicholas Fisk says.

“They will be able to monitor how self-perceptions of ageing and gender fluctuate in near real-time and in combination with a wide variety of other factors influencing our health, cognition, and wellbeing.”

Professor Fisk continues: “I’m proud that our researchers are embarking on this novel study in Australia. The Apple Watch and iPhone will greatly assist our understanding of the ageing process and allow our researchers to answer research questions that were just not possible using traditional methods.”

Scientia Professor Kaarin Anstey and Brooke Brady from UNSW Science and the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute are leading the research.

“Personal, social and environmental factors can impact how old a person feels and how they express themselves in the real world,” Professor Anstey says.

“Our research will explore how two important characteristics that make us unique – our perceived age and our gender expression – may change across days, weeks and months, and among people of different generations.

“By making use of newly available approaches to remote data collection, we can embed research in our participants’ everyday lives. This Labs Without Walls approach has fantastic promise for improving the accessibility and inclusion of research.”

To find out more about this study, or inquire about recruitment e-mail labswithoutwalls@unsw.edu.au.