The New York Times:
Becca Levy, a psychologist at the Yale School of Public Health, has been measuring the impact of stereotypes about old age for close to 20 years. They have potent effects, she and her colleagues have found.
The researchers developed an “image of aging” scale to determine whether subjects are likely to see old people as “capable” and “active” and “full of life,” or as “grumpy” or “helpless” or other negative attributes. They’ve used the scale to measure how much those descriptions match older people’s own self-perceptions.
Over and over, they’ve found that those who hold more positive age stereotypes behave differently as they age from those with more negative stereotypes, even when the groups are similar in other ways, including health status.
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