Age differences in explicit and implicit age attitudes across the life span

William J. Chopik, Hannah L. Giasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of the Study: Biased judgments about others can operate both within and outside of our conscious awareness. However, little attention has been paid to how implicit and explicit attitudes differ across the life span, particularly with respect to age bias. In the current study, we examined age differences in implicit and explicit attitudes towards older individuals. Design and Method: Participants (N = 704,151) ranging from age 15 to 94 completed the Implicit Association Test and explicit self-report measures of bias against older adults. The associations between age bias and several demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, education) were also examined. Results: A preference for younger people was found among participants of all ages; however, implicit and explicit attitudes showed divergent associations with age. Implicit preference for younger people was highest among older adults; explicit preference for younger people was lowest among older adults. Implications: Examining age differences in implicit and explicit attitudes sheds light into the development and complexities of aging perceptions in different age groups. The current study’s findings are discussed in the context of applications to and implications of reducing prejudice toward older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S169-S177
JournalGerontologist
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age differences
  • Ageism
  • Explicit attitudes
  • Implicit association task
  • Project implicit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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