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PSYC12 week 9 lecture notes

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Michael Inzlicht

Week 9 PSYC12 PSYC12 – Ageism & Sexism Ageism – stereotypes, prejudice, & discrimination based on age - A group that we are more okay with expressing our stereotypes about - Facets of Ageism o Although largely applied to older adults, can also apply to the young – juvenile ageism o Why should we care? Importance of studying elderly: elderly population will double by 2030 o Unlike other prejudices, elderly are out-group that will one day become in-group for you - What form does ageism take? o Patronizing language: overaccomodation, baby talk o Patronizing behaviour: infantalization, condescending treatment, assumption of physical and mental deterioration o Some of these behaviours are commonly thought to be nice things, e.g., walking an elderly lady cross the street. This make them feel weak, futile, and unable to do things on their own Perdue & Gurtman, 1990 - Do people have negative associations with elderly? - If so, are these associations implicit/automatic? - Method: o Participants are all young o Evaluative priming task o “Old” vs. “Young” subliminally primed (55 ms) o Positive vs. Negative traits presented after prime o DV: RT to words (faster RT = stronger association) - E.g., presented with the word “old” and then word “selfish”. Participants have to make the decision whether the word is good or bad. RT is measured - Results: o It takes longer to react to Young and negative and shorter to Young and positive traits o There are no differences between the RT for positive or negative traits for the Old - Another interpretation: o Negative words are more associated with old than with young o Positive words are less associated with old than with young - BUT o Is this out-group bias? (not really, it is more about in-group love) o What does this have to do with people? (the word Old doesn’t just refer to old people, could be old shoes, cars) Origins of ageism - Societal age grading – age differences matter. E.g., “I am a fourth grader; I don’t hang out with third graders”. We are taught at a young age that different age groups act differently, have different interests - Dominance of youth culture – a lot of the ads we see are tailored toward the young - Media – it is acceptable to make fun of old people in our society through the interactions shown through the media - Fear of death – we may have negative feelings toward the elderly because they remind us of death Terror Management - No one wants to think about the eventuality of death - According to terror management theory, we don’t want to think about the eventuality that we are going to die Martens et al., 2004 - Given instinct for self-preservation, people want to deny death or reminders of death Week 9 PSYC12 - People find elderly threatening because they are reminders of own death - Elderly out-group bias (ageism) is product of this mortality salience - People who are primed with the image of the elderly are more likely to complete incomplete sentences with words related to death, like skull, skeleton, etc. Ageist self-stereotypes - Self-stereotype: internalization of societal beliefs about the traits associated with one’s group o Many old people do not have cognitive decline, and they do not believe in the stereotypes about old people and memory loss - Development of ageist self-stereotypes o Ubiquity of elderly stereotypes (even among children) o Elderly stereotypes can operate below awareness o When young become old, and identify with elderly in-group, the stereotype that was held for a lifetime becomes internalized self-stereotype Effects of ageist, self-stereotypes (Levy, 2003; Levy, 2009) - Longitudinal studies show that people (18-49 years) with positive self-perceptions-of-aging. In other words, attitude
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