Age stereotyping: Are we oversimplifying the phenomenon?

V. Braithwaite, D. Gibson, J. Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the use of age stereotypes in evaluating individuals' behavior in context-specific situations. One hundred university students assessed young male, young female, old male, and old female characters in four vignettes using the Rosencranz and McNevin Semantic Differential. The data revealed limited but conflicting evidence of the use of stereotypes when the stimuli portrayed target characters in lifelike situations rather than in an experimental vacuum. It is argued that while stereotyping can occur in specific contexts, its form is greatly influenced by other aspects of the situation. The need to reconceptualize the notion of stereotypes of the elderly is discussed, and a shift in emphasis toward the analysis of subgroup stereotypes as opposed to one consistent global stereotype of old age is urged
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1985
Externally publishedYes


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