The role of affect and cognition in predicting attitudes toward the elderly

Fiander Trask, Tracy (1999) The role of affect and cognition in predicting attitudes toward the elderly. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the attitudes of both younger and older adults toward two target groups -older adults (65-74 year-olds) and younger adults (18-25 year-olds). This study was also designed to assess the importance of cognitive and affective information in predicting attitudes toward the elderly. As expected, when an evaluation thermometer was used to assess attitudes toward older targets, results revealed that both younger and older adults held positive attitudes toward the elderly and that older adults evaluated others more positively than did younger adults. In addition, the results of this study suggest that older and younger participants do not differ in their evaluations of younger and older targets. -- Although past research suggests that gender plays a role in determining attitudes toward older adults, these findings were not supported in the present study. Results revealed that older male and female targets were evaluated similarly regardless of the respondents’ gender. In addition, no relationship was found between contact with elderly adults and attitudes toward this group. -- The results of the present study only partially support the tripartite model of attitude formation. When stereotypes, emotional responses, symbolic beliefs, age of target, and age and gender of participant were used to predict attitudes toward older targets, only affect was found to be a significant predictor of attitudes. In addition, none of the above variables predicted attitudes toward younger targets. The implications of this finding are discussed and suggestions are made for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1559
Item ID: 1559
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 72-76
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Attitude (Psychology); Aged--Public opinion; Social perception; Young adults--Attitudes; Impression formation (Psychology)

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