The New York Times:
It turns out that a young Max and a middle-aged Max can get away with saying things that an old Max cannot.
At least that is the conclusion of a new study by Princeton researchers aimed at measuring age discrimination, one of the toughest forms of workplace bias to prove.
The subjects of the experiment — 137 Princeton undergraduates — were shown a video of a man who would be their partner in a trivia contest. His name was Max, he was white, neither handsome nor ugly, wore a checked shirt and said he was from Hamilton, N.J.
What the students did not know was that there were actually three different versions of Max, being played by different actors, 25, 45 and 75 years old.
The results, soon to be published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, illustrate the subtle bias older men and women may face in the work force.
“If you want to be an aging gray panther, and speak your mind to your manager, that’s fine,” said Susan Fiske, a Princeton professor and a co-author of the study with Michael North, who recently completed his Ph.D. “But expect consequences.”
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