Class Notes (811,659)
Canada (494,847)
Psychology (7,646)
PSYC12H3 (374)

C12: chp 7

8 Pages
Unlock Document

Michael Inzlicht

Ageism – Chapter 7 Ageism – stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination based on age Juvenile Ageism – stereotypes for young Why Ageism? • Baby boomers are getting older • Relative lack of attention by researchers • Unique set of factors, we will all (hopefully) become part of this ingroup Does Ageism really exist? • Lots of contradictory information in this field • When asked about specific old people… people give generally positive responces o Could be subtyping • But generic prototype of old people is negative o People think of older people in many specific ways o But twice as many negative as positive subcategories • People have more negative attitude towards older people than towards younger people Age Stereotypes: Content and Use • US society has far fewer positive terms for older people • Benign Ageism – subtle type of prejudice that arises out of the conscious and unconscious fears and anxiety one has of growing old o Much more common • Malignant Ageism – stereotypic process where old people are viewed as worthless • Negative Subcategories o Despondent, mildly impaired, vulnerable, severely impaired, shrewd, recluse, nosy neighbour, bag lady • Positive Categories o John Wayne Conservative, liberal matriarch/patriarch, sage, perfect grandparent Positive Attitudes and Positive Stereotypes • Media portrayal has changed for the positive over the decades • Positive Ageism – a prejudice in favour of the aged, assumes that older people are in need of special care, treatment or economic assistance • Palmores 8 positive stereotypes of old o Kind, happy, wise, dependable, affluent, politically powerful, more freedom, try to retain youth • But are these positive attitudes a good thing? o Pseudopositive attitudes can lead to patronizing language and behaviour towards older people; and a loss of self-esteem in the older person. Effects of Pseudopositive Attitudes • Patronizing Language o 2 types of negative communication  Overaccommodation • Overly polite, speak louder and slower, exaggerate their intonation and have a higher pitch, and talk in simple sentences • Based on stereotype that older people have hearing problems, decreasing intellect, slower cognitive functions • Can manifest as downplaying of serious thoughts, concerns or feeling expressed by older people  Baby Talk • More negative and codescending form of overaccommodations • Simplified speech register with high pitch and exaggerated intonation • Also used when talking to babies, pets, inanimate objects, and Adults (secondary baby talk) • But some researchers have found that older people with lower functional abilities preferred secondary baby talk • Those older people with higher coginitive function find baby talk as disrespectful (connotes a dependency relationship) • Patronizing Behavior o It is the individuals with the physical and mental signs of aging which are severe that we remember and make stereotypes about o Infantilization – based on these stereotypes of physical and mental deficiency we treat elders like children because they are inferior  Talk to them slow  Don’t take their opinions seriously o Seniors don’t like being treated like they need our help  It brings down their self-esteem • Effects of Psuedopositive Attitudes on Older people o Accepting the “inferior role” leads to 3 Consequences  Status of older people is diminished due to decreased responsibility and increased dependency  Society may feel justified to use psychoactive meds, institutionalize or declare legal incompetency of older people  Political power of older people is reduced when older people come to believe their ability and impact on society is limited o Looking-Glass Self – anxiety and negative expectancies directed towards older target will lead to the target feeling this way  It can also effect they way they look at other older people o Aging effects the “self” in three ways  One developes a stable self-concept • We tend to monitor ourselves less and become a mmore stable coherent self  Reduction of social role reduces the possibility for conflict between what you do and who you are  Old people simply maintain ones self, role and abilities o If they have such good self esteem, WHY are they vulnerable to ageism?  Lack of adequate defences for the self  Start to believe what people around you are sayin  Especially troublesome to those who never develop a firm concept of self o 2 other factors that lead to low self-esteem amongst elders  Loss of physical capacity  Loss of control over environment • Ageism in the Helping Professions o Many doctors have negative stereotypical views of older patients  They focus on disease management rather than prevention  They old, they supposed to be sick o Psychologists  Less likely to be refered for assessments  More likely to prescribe drugs  More likely to excuse the failings of older clients o Maybe due to healthism – stereotypes about people poor in physical health o What do professionals need to do to  Continually assess their own attitudes towards older people  Confront ageism and healthism where it arises  Institute geriatric programs in hospitals and mental health practices  Integrate into their training a thorough knowledge of healthism and ageism (professionals need to understand the heterogeneity of older people as an age category) Origins of Ageism • Gerontophobia – irrational fear, hatred, and or hositility towards older people. o Displaced fear of own death, distance themselves from death o Since we are living longer, most people die in old age, becomes associated with death • Age Grading of Society o Age stratification – lots of things are based on age – who we play with, when we are allowed to drink, drive, smoke ect ect. So age has expectations about behaviour o Gerontocratic Societies • From Sage to Burden o In most prehistory and egalitarian socities old people were held in high regard (prestige) o Between 1770 and 1850 attitudes changed  People lived longer  became non-productive burden in industrial age  forced retirement at 65 • Modernization o Older people have lost prestige and respect as society has become modernized o Before modernization there was a strong emphasis on close ties and extended families o After modernization emphasis on nuclear family o Older people no longer a rareity so their status diminished o Preference for ability to adapt to new technology • Idealism o Increasingly negative attitudes when American and French revolutions took place o Revolutions sparked a social and political change that demanded equality and liberty o Moral authority of older people was eliminated o Value placed on innovation and change Maintenances of Ageism • Functio
More Less

Related notes for PSYC12H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.