Geographic patterns of implicit age bias and associations with state-level health outcomes across the United States

Hannah L. Giasson, William J. Chopik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Negative attitudes toward aging are pervasive in society and may be detrimental to people's health as they become older. Older people tend to report feeling significantly younger than their chronological age, often as a way of psychologically distancing themselves from the stigma of old age. However, attitudes and behaviors toward aging may differ across regional contexts. We examined associations among state-level patterns of bias against older adults and state-level health outcomes across the United States. Data from 803,009 respondents (ages: 15–94) across 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) revealed geographic variation in implicit age bias. Higher state-level implicit age bias was associated with poorer state-level health outcomes among adults ages 65+. Older adults living in states high in implicit age bias showed greater age-group dissociation compared to older adults living in states low in implicit age bias. Findings highlight potential consequences of implicit age bias and invite further research on the long-term health implications of individual age-group dissociation in response to regional age bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1190
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • age-group dissociation
  • ageism
  • implicit bias
  • project implicit
  • regional differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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