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PSYC12H3 (307)
Chapter 7

Chapter 7

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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Chapter 7: Ageism
Butler: ageism refer to stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination based on age
oTypically refer to old people
oSociety tends to be decidedly pro-youth, anti-aging
Ever since 1945, academics, policy makers, politicians focuses on baby boomers because of unique
phenomenon they represent
Brewer: people have a generally negative view of superordinate category older people, but have
several subcategories of older people older people
oWhen one encounters elderly, information about elderly tends to be organized in terms of
these subcategories, not according to superordinate age category
oAge influence how we perceive another person
People think about elder in many specific ways
oSchmidt & Boland had university students sort out 99 personality traits into groups
oGenerated 2 17-groups, subcategories organized in hierarchical structure, with cluster of
negative subcategories, positive subcategories and general traits (retired, poor eyesight)
oFound twice as many negative as positive subcategories
oNegative: despondent, mildly impaired, vulnerable, severely impaired
oPositive: John Wayne conservative, liberal matriarch/patriarch, sage, perfect grandparent
Butler: 2 types of ageism:
oBenign: subtle type of prejudice that arises out of conscious and unconscious fears and
anxiety one has of growing old
oMalignant: more pernicious stereotyping process in which elder are regarded as worthless
Research suggests that Americans regard elders as warm but incompetent- lead them to treat
elder with pity but not respect
Ageism is one of most unnoticed and socially condoned forms of prejudice
Beel: media, television portrays of elder have changed in positive ways over decades
Positive ageism assumes elder are in need of special care, treatment or economic assistance
Palmore: 8 common positive stereotypes people have of elders: kind, happy, wise, dependable,
affluent, politically powerful, enjoying more freedom, trying to retain youth
Pseudopositive attitudes (well intentioned, positive stereotypes of elders) can lead to patronizing
language and behaviour toward elder and loss of self-esteem in elders
2 major types of negative communication:
oOveraccommodation: younger become overly polite, speak louder and slower and exaggerate
intonation, have higher pitch, talk in simple sentences
oBaby talk: elders who have lower functional abilities preferred secondary baby talk to other
types of speech because conveys soothing, nurturing quality
Infantilization: belief that elders are like children because of inferior (to young and middle age)
mental and physical ability
oCreates a self-fulfilling prophecy in that elder come to accept and believe that they no
longer independent, contributing adults
Arluke & Levin: by accepting role and childlike behaviour that accompanies such acceptance,
elders faced with 3 negative consequence
oSocial status of elder is diminished through decrease in responsibility and increased
dependency
oWhen society see childlike behaviour in elder, may feel justified in its use of psychoactive
medicines, institutionalization or declarations of legal incompetency
oPolitical power of elder reduced when it is believed their ability and impact on society is
limited
Levy: elders who had more positive self perceptions about aging lived about 7.5 years longer than
those with more negative self perception of aging
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Description
Chapter 7: Ageism Butler: ageism refer to stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination based on age o Typically refer to old people o Society tends to be decidedly pro-youth, anti-aging Ever since 1945, academics, policy makers, politicians focuses on baby boomers because of unique phenomenon they represent Brewer: people have a generally negative view of superordinate category older people, but have several subcategories of older people older people o When one encounters elderly, information about elderly tends to be organized in terms of these subcategories, not according to superordinate age category o Age influence how we perceive another person People think about elder in many specific ways o Schmidt & Boland had university students sort out 99 personality traits into groups o Generated 2 17-groups, subcategories organized in hierarchical structure, with cluster of negative subcategories, positive subcategories and general traits (retired, poor eyesight) o Found twice as many negative as positive subcategories o Negative: despondent, mildly impaired, vulnerable, severely impaired o Positive: John Wayne conservative, liberal matriarchpatriarch, sage, perfect grandparent Butler: 2 types of ageism: o Benign: subtle type of prejudice that arises out of conscious and unconscious fears and anxiety one has of growing old o Malignant: more pernicious stereotyping process in which elder are regarded as worthless Research suggests that Americans regard elders as warm but incompetent- lead them to treat elder with pity but not respect Ageism is one of most unnoticed and socially condoned forms of prejudice Beel: media, television portrays of elder have changed in positive ways over decades Po
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