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Lecture 9

PSYC12 Lecture 9

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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 Lec 9  Prejudice from perceivers and targets for the elderly and women  Ageism o Stereotyping based on age – usually based on the elderly, but can also occur for teenagers o Effect of holding stereotypes as young people will affect us when we get older  Sexism – discrimination based on sex, gender o Hostile sexism o The people who most endorse ambivalent sexism support more inequality between men and women  Student saying older lawyer might have Alzheimer‟s  shows stereotypes about elderly  Ageism o A group we are more okay with expressing stereotypes about  Do this with obese people also o Definition: stereotypes, prejudice & discrimination based on age  Facets of Ageism o Some people have argued that with teenagers in our society are probably victims of ageism – somewhere in that age, they are physical mature, mostly mentally mature, yet there are rules that are discriminatory:  Can‟t drink, drive before a certain age  Rules applied to them and not others o Why is it important?  Elderly population will double by 2030 – many people will live longer, baby boomers just turned around 65 and are going to be senior citizen status  Society will have to make huge changes to accommodate this group  Attitudes towards elderly affects them too o Only normative group where eventually what was formally the in-group becomes the out-group  Ideas we have about the elderly may affect us when we turn that age  Really the only group this happens with  What form does it take? o Patronizing language  Baby talk, overaccomodation, speaking loud, being overly polite o Patronizing behaviour  Infantalization, condescending treatment and assumption of physical and mental deterioration  E.g. being around 70 but looking a bit older than you are, you work out, etc. and a 10 year old grabs your hand to help you cross the street  Makes a person feel older than they are  Speaking to them and treating them differently makes them feel like they are not capable  Perdue & Gurtman, 1990 o Asked: do people have negative association to elderly? Are they implicit/automatic? o Method: evaluative priming task  Gave people a prime – the word “old” vs. “young” (55ms)  Then saw words that were positive or negative after seeing the prime  Told to categorize as positive or negative as fast as possible o Evaluative priming task  People see the world old for 55ms + word “selfish” then look at reaction time to categorize as bad  “young” + “selfish”  When young people see old + selfish, easier to categorize as selfish o Results:  Reaction time to pos/neg traits as a function of the priming word  See that with old, there are NO differences in categorizing neg/pos traits  With the word young, negative traits take longer to categorize and positive traits are faster to be categorized  See – not so much evidence of out-group derogation but more evidence of in-group favoritism “in-group love”  Young people doing this – tend to associate “young” with positive traits  Results o Negative words are more associated with old than young – positive words less associated with old than young o BUT:  Is this out-group bias? No. more about in-group love  What does this have to do with people? Old could be lots of things – old shoes, old cars, etc.  With “old”, is not a descriptor  I-clicker: which of the following are problems with the Gurtman et al. study on implicit attitude towards the elderly? a) The authors did not measure explicit attitudes b) The results showed in-group bias c) Results may not generalize to social evaluations d) The authors measured implicit attitudes e) The authors didn‟t thank God in their acknowledgments - Ans: c  but both b and c are correct - Not a good test question  Origins of ageism o Societal age grading  Have grades – elementary, high school  Young people pay less for buses, movies – makes age salient – brings to awareness that some people are older and some are younger o Dominance of youth culture  People mostly try to appeal to demographic: 18-30  Companies want to capture these people because they are young, not married, have money. Therefore, they try to appeal to the young people only  Gives the idea that young people are the ideal o Media  Very acceptable to make fun of old people in our culture  Ads for clubbing, hiking, handbags o Fear of death  We may have negative feelings towards elderly because they remind us that we will get old and are closer to death  Elderly may remind us of death  Terror Management o Terror management theory: We do not like to think about the fact we are going to die and suppress this o Have unconscious defence mechanisms to help us not think about the eventuality of our own death – leads to overwhelming anxiety and fear  Study: Martens et al. 2001 o Given instinct for self-preservation, people want to deny death or reminders of death o People find elderly threatening because they are reminders of own death o Elderly out-group bias (ageism) is a product of this mortality salience o Gave photos of old or young people o All participants all had word completions  Can be completed in death-related ways or in non-death related ways o People primed with images of elderly are more likely to make death-word completions than compared to young people  Ageist self-stereotypes o Self-stereotype: internalization of societal beliefs about the traits associated with one‟s group  There is cognitive decline BUT not as steep as we think – tend to be limited to certain domains o Can the ideas we have about people getting old and memory, cause worst memory when we get older because we thought these things when we were younger? o Self-stereotype – internalization about traits about one‟s group o Stereotype that old people become mentally frail – does not happen right away and is variable o How does it develop?  Elderly stereotypes are ubiquitous; all over the place  Operate below awareness  When young person becomes and old person and identifies with being an old person, may take in societies beliefs  Effects of ageist self-stereotypes (Levy, 2003 + 2009) o Looked at people ages 18-49 and measured their beliefs about the elderly, what it is like when someone gets old o Positive attitude about aging or negative? o This belief/attitude people have about aging makes a massive difference in people‟s lives  Self-fulfilling prophecy o For example, having a stereotype as a young person that people lose memory when they are older – having that attitude and then when 50 or 60 and forgetting something – attribute it to getting older  “a senior moment” – person is forgetting  Act of believing it, may lead to self-fulfilment – may start actually having worst memory o People with positive beliefs about aging have fewer heart attacks, strokes, angina, lower blood pressure o Lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative views of aging  People with low cholesterol by exercising regularly, may improve life by 4 years o Ideas in head may have a big impact later on o Key point: have respect for elderly, o Implications  Mental and physical dete
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