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PSY 180 - Psychology of Aging - Textbook

Chapter 2: Table of Contents

Chapter 2: Stereotypes & Myths of Aging

Chapter Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate the major stereotypes held about elderly persons and how they may have affects on their self-perceptions, health and social participation.
  • Evaluate the various types of cohort stratification among the elderly and how it relates to social perceptions.
  • Examine the various misconceptions surrounding elderly people. Additionally, students will learn about the AARP and sociological explanations of the aging process.


Chapter Key Points

  • Stereotypes about the elderly can prevent older men and women from participating fully in social, political, economic, cultural activities.
  • Younger people may also influence hold limited perceptions about the elderly and build barriers to their participation.
  • There are five main cohort generational cohorts (Depression Kids, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, The Millennials). As we age, our bodies begin to change and many of us believe many incorrect ideas about this change, which is a normal part of the lifespan.
  • Social roles change over time as do the norms and folkways concerning “proper” behavior for the elderly, such as appropriate clothing styles, activity levels, and sexual activity. How do you want to be treated when you are old? How can you change the way elders are cared for today?
  • Our perceptions of the elderly are also cultural and gendered, and affect how others treat them and how they themselves perceive getting older.

(Learning Objectives, Key Points, and Basic Terms content by Professor Stacey Cooper is licensed under CC BY 4.0.)