People have positive views about specific older people, and negative views
about general old people.
AGE STEREOTYPES: CONTENT AND USE
Nuessel points out, the fact that US society has far fewer positive terms for
older people indicates the presence of a strong individual and institutional
Butler has distinguished two types of ageism: benign and malignant
Benign ageism: is a subtle type of prejudice that arises out of the
conscious and unconscious fears and anxiety one has of growing old
Malignant ageism: is a more pernicious stereotyping process in which
older people are regarded as worthless.
One is less likely to see blatant examples of malignant ageism. Benign
ageism is much more common.
Fiske “Americans view older people as warm but incompetent.”
POSITIVE ATTITUDES AND POSITIVE STEREOTYPES:
Bell found that in the past, older people were portrayed as stubborn,
eccentric, foolish and comical characters. However old people in TV show
watched by older people was more smart, admired, powerful etc.
Palmore suggests that such positive stereotypes are indicative of what he
feels “positive ageism” which is prejudice and discrimination in favor of the
aged. Positive ageism assumes that older people are in need of special care,
treatment, or economic assistance.
Essentially any discrimination, special discounts or treatments that are only
available to old people is discrimination.
People also think that old people are believed to be kind, happy, wise,
dependable, affluent, enjoying more freedom. NO EVIDENCE.
The majority of research evidence suggests that people generally have more
negative than positive views of older people and of aging.
EFFECTS OF PSEUDOPOSITIVE ATTITUDES
Two major types of negative communication have been identified by
Over accommodation: (Kampar) younger individuals become overly
polite, speak louder and slower, exaggerate their intonation, have a higher
pitch, and talk in simple sentences with elders.