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Chapter 7

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 7 PSYC12 11042011 Ageism - Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination based on age - Different conceptions of older people are evoked when one accesses a generic prototype of older people (often negative), when asked about a specific older person it becomes harder to remember negative stereotypes and therefore the impression is usually positive - Age stereotypes: Content and Use o Benign ageism Subtle type fo prejudice that arises out of the conscious and unconscious fears one has of growing old o Malignant ageism More pernicious stereotyping process in which older people are regarded as worthless - Effects of pseudopositive attitudes o Patronizing Language Overaccomodation Younger individuals become overly polite, speak louder and slower, exaggerate their intonation etc. with elders Downplaying of serious thoughts, concerns, and feelings expressed by older people Baby talk More negative and condescending form of overaccomodation Associated with the stereotype that all older persons have deficits in cognitive abilities ant therefore need special communication at a slower simpler level o Patronizing Behaviour Infantilization Belief that elders are like children because of their inferior mental and physical capability Creates a self fulfilling prophecy in older people (Arluke and Levin, 1984) o By accepting such a role, face 2 negative consequences Social status of older people is diminished through the decrease in responsibility Society may feel justified in the use of psychoactive medication, institutionalization etc. Political power of older people is reduced when older people come tot believe their ability is limited Patronizing behaviour and even well intended offers of assistance can have negative consequences for the self esteem of the older individual Negative self perception about aging can have a strong connection to ones overall physical health and longevity Major part of who we are, who we believer our self is derived from our social interactions and the feedback about our self that others give (Looking glass self) Patronizing talk leads to elders viewing other elders as helpless and weak SIT states that part of ones self esteem is derived form their group memberships When a member of the group verifies the negative stereotype, to protect ones own self esteem the best way is to derogate the other member and distinguish them as an aberration Aging affects the self in three ways (Atchley, 1982) Develop a stable self concept, longer life means more opportunities one has had to test themselves over various situations
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