Far less examines the degree to which negative and positive stereotypes have an effect on the quality of life for older adults.
Separate groups of children were given directions in an evaluative way and other groups were given directions in a non-evaluative way.
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, 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.
Overall, research on changing negative stereotypes about older age has only begun to illuminate the problem. Cohen et al.
Different explanations have been favored—self-stereotype activation versus other stereotype activation— although the behavioral and judgmental effects of activating these stereotypes are quite similar Wheeler and Petty, For those who survive and manage to cope with lifelong prejudice, the experience of aging might be quite different than it is for those who have not faced discrimination.
Second, ingroup members may negotiate with each other, but conclude that they are disagreeing because of categorical differences amongst themselves.
Research has not yet addressed how automatic evaluations of the elderly are affected by other variables, such as occupational or other roles, gender, or race. Law students were perceived to be more in favor of euthanasia than students from different departments despite the fact that a pretest had revealed that subjects had no preexisting expectations about attitudes toward euthanasia and the department that students belong to.
A complementary perspective theorizes how stereotypes function as time- and energy-savers that allow people to act more efficiently. Understanding the mechanisms behind the effect of stereotypes is an area ripe for research.
Those who reported racial discrimination also reported feeling less control over their lives, more anger, less emotional support, and more negative interactions as well as higher rates of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette use than those who did not report racial discrimination Borrell et al.