This old stereotype: The pervasiveness and persistence of the elderly stereotype

Amy J.C. Cuddy, Michael I. Norton, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

649 Scopus citations


Americans stereotype elderly people as warm and incompetent, following from perceptions of them as noncompetitive and low status, respectively. This article extends existing research regarding stereotyping of older people in two ways. First, we discuss whether the mixed elderly stereotype is unique to American culture. Data from six non-U.S. countries, including three collectivist cultures, demonstrate elderly stereotypes are consistent across varied cultures. Second, we investigate the persistence of the evaluatively-mixed nature of the elderly stereotype. In an experiment, 55 college students rated less competent elderly targets (stereotype-consistent) as warmer than more competent (stereotype-inconsistent) and control elderly targets. We also discuss the type of discrimination-social exclusion-that elderly people often endure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-285
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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