] found that aging self-stereotypes had a direct impact on physiological function, with negative aging stereotype (subliminal) primes increasing cardiovascular stress in white and African American older individuals, respectively, before and after mental challenges, such as word and math tests.
They statistically analysed international evidence from 37 research studies, both published and unpublished. They concluded that older adults ‘ memory and cognitive performance is negatively affected in situations that signal or remind them of negative age stereotypes. These effects affect both men and women.
Societal aging can affect economic growth, patterns of work and retirement, the way that families function, the ability of governments and communities to provide adequate resources for older adults, and the prevalence of chronic disease and disability.
For example, stereotype threat has been shown to disrupt working memory and executive function, increase arousal, increase self-consciousness about one’s performance, and cause individuals to try to suppress negative thoughts as well as negative emotions such as anxiety.
“Many individual have ingrained stereotypes – though they may not endorse those stereotypes personally,” said Freeman. “Our results suggest that these sorts of stereotypical associations can shape the basic visual processing of other people, predictably warping how the brain ‘sees’ a person’s face.”
An aging population and slower labor force growth affect economies in many ways—the growth of GDP slows, working-age people pay more to support the elderly, and public budgets strain under the burden of the higher total cost of health and retirement programs for old people.
The share of the population aged 60 and over is projected to increase in nearly every country in the world between today and 2050. An aging population tends to lower labor-force participation and savings rates, and may slow economic growth. These declines would translate into moderately slower economic growth.
There are three main risk factors that contribute to vulnerability in older adults: health status; cognitive ability; and, social network.
In social psychology, a stereotype is a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people. By stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have. For example, a “ hells angel” biker dresses in leather.
An American national study has found people who encountered the threat of being judged by negative stereotypes related to weight, age, race, gender, or social class in health care settings were more likely to have hypertension, be depressed, and to rate their own health more poorly.
For example, if students try to suppress thoughts about negative stereotypes, or if they are worried that their poor performance may confirm stereotypes, the effort and associated emotions may divert mental energy from answering a test question or solving a problem.