Applying the ecological perspective to stereotypes: An investigation of older adult stereotypes as a function of interaction and context

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Abstract

This dissertation investigated whether context and interaction affected younger adults' perceptions of older adult stereotypes. The ecological perspective (see Gibson, 1966, 1979; McArthur & Baron, 1983) was adopted for this study and provided a theoretical basis in which the effects of context on older adult stereotypes can be examined. The Age Group Evaluation and Description Inventory (Knox, Gekoshi, & Kelly, 1995) was employed to assess stereotypes of and attitudes toward older adults. The Language in Adulthood (LIA) Scale (Ryan, See, Meneer, & Trovato, 1992) was used to measure receptive and expressive language skills in older adults. Six older adults were recruited as confederates and agreed to be videotaped. A validation test of these six older adult videotapes allowed for selection of two confederates, one male and one female, to become the older adult targets for this study. These two older adult targets agreed to be filmed in three contexts for the purposes of this study. Younger adult participants (N = 180), aged 18-32 years old, rated the videotapes. Two hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis stated that younger adults' perceptions of attitudes associated with older adults, as measured by the Age Group Evaluation and Description (AGED) Inventory scores (Knox et al., 1995), would differ as a function of context. Hypothesis One also had a subhypothesis that stated younger adults' perceptions of attitudes associated with older adults would differ as a function of gender. The second hypothesis asserted that younger adults' perceptions of older adults' language abilities would differ as a function of context as indicated by the Language in Adulthood (LIA) Scale scores (Ryan et al., 1992). Further, a subhypothesis of Hypothesis Two stated that younger adults' perceptions of older adults' language abilities would differ as a function of gender; that is, younger adults will associate different language abilities with female older adults than male ol (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • Applying the ecological perspective to stereotypes

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Authors

  • Annette Leigh Folwell

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