The negative consequences of stereotyping people

Besides the creative poems that I occasionally toss into the mix, these are my essays and papers I have written throughout my adventurous educational career as a Psychology and a Criminology undergraduate student and Forensic Psychology graduate student.

The negative consequences of stereotyping people

The Impact of Stereotypes on Self and Others There is ample evidence to suggest that negative expectations and stereotypes about the competence of older adults pervade Western culture e.

For example, older adults are characterized as more forgetful and less able to learn new information e. In addition, young and old people alike believe that there is general memory decline across the latter half of the life span Lineweaver and Hertzog, ; Ryan, ; Ryan and Kwong See, Research corroborates these views: Yet there is also evidence of older adults serving important roles in society.

This fact is also consistent with the literature on cognitive aging, which shows that reasoning about complex matters relevant to daily life—what some call wisdom—shows no deterioration with age Baltes and Kunzmann, Yet pervasive beliefs about age-related decline tend to outweigh beliefs about positive aging in our culture.

Most people expect that losses will outnumber gains as they get older Heckhausen, Dixon, and Baltes, ; most people expect their abilities to decline with age Staudinger, Bluck, and Herzberg, Most of the work on stereotyping and aging documents this phenomenon.

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Far less examines the degree to which negative and positive stereotypes have an effect on the quality of life for older adults.

Do negative expectations of older people and ageist beliefs lead people in general, as well as older adults themselves, to underestimate the capacities of older adults?

The negative consequences of stereotyping people

Do positive expectations have The negative consequences of stereotyping people opposite effect? Negative stereotypes can have harmful consequences for the quality of life of older adults and can also result in a major loss to society.

With increases in life expectancy as well as reduced infirmity, many adults are aging well, but negative stereotypes of aging may put society at risk for losing the contributions of these vital and knowledgeable people. The potential individual and social effects underscore the need to understand the content of aging stereotypes in terms of their accuracy and applications.

It is especially important to understand how negative stereotypes exacerbate poor performance in areas in which decline is real. That is, beliefs that memory is bad in old age can reduce motivation when increased motivation is needed instead.

Social psychologists have a long history of studying stereotypes and their effects on judgment and behavior. As outlined in more detail below, stereotypes people have about others can influence how those others are treated and in turn elicit particular behaviors from the others that are consistent with those stereotypes e.

In addition, stereotypes can exert a direct influence on the stereotype holder. In particular, activation of a stereotype can cause people to act in a manner consistent with the stereotype Dijksterhuis and Bargh,regardless of whether they are members of the stereotyped group or not Wheeler and Petty, Older adults are repeatedly reminded of negative stereotypes associated with aging in a variety of settings, such as media advertising of products and services that focus on such aspects of aging as memory loss, frailty, incontinence, and loss of mobility.

Other examples include ageist views of older workers on the job and its harmful effects on employee satisfaction Gordon et al. In many settings, patronizing forms of communication are used with older adults despite the fact that it is viewed as debasing and disrespectful see Hummert, ; Kemper, ; Ryan, Meredith, and Shantz, As noted by Richeson and Shelton in this volumenegative stereotypes of age-related cognitive deficits are far more severe than the actual deficits.

Those stereotypes may inhibit older people from attempting and actively participating in new activities or exercising their full potential. A critical issue that emerges from these findings is the extent to which negative stereotypes affect the behavior of older adults in an everyday context.

Do older adults themselves overlook symptoms of disease because they view them as part of normal aging, when they should be taking these symptoms more seriously? Research should examine knowledge and individual choice on the part of older adults in making medical decisions see Chapter 4.

Fortunately, positive stereotypes and attitudes toward aging can also affect how older adults are treated. For example, Erber and Szuchman found that a forgetful older adult is seen as having more desirable traits than a forgetful young adult.

Thus, despite perceptions of declining memory capacity on the part of older adults, they can still be viewed as credible or desirable.Negative stereotyping wields a lingering impact on those who experience it, and in situations unrelated to the initial insult, a new study finds.

"Past studies have shown that people perform. Company Logo by Erin Volz The Negative effects of Stereotyping on Society What is Stereotyping? "A stereotype is a rigid, oversimplified, often exaggerated belief that is applied both to an entire social category of people and to each individual within it.

The devastating effect that negative stereotyping can have on people’s sense of themselves and their abilities has been known for decades now. While these stereotypes and ideal roles may seem innocent and harmless, they have a dramatic affect on the everyday lives of people.

From personality development to careers and education, gender roles have set boundaries that cause a negative effect on both genders. Since a young age, people are told what they should like, act like, and become based on the gender of their body.

These preset ideas start off by expecting young females to like pink or pastel colors and young males to like blue or darker colors.

A vast literature documents both positive and negative stereotyping about older people, but little is known about the effects of these stereotypes on their behavior, self-concept, and motivation.

Unlike stereotypes that have no basis in fact, aging stereotypes tend to hold a kernel of truth.

How negative stereotyping affects older people - University of Kent