Stigmatization of older adults leads them to perform poorly on tasks

The stigmatization of older adults based on their cognitive or physical impairment may directly result in poor performance on their tasks.

The new research, released in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, featured previously released studies from as far back as the 1990s.

Stigmatization, or negative stereotypes, generally occurs over an individual’s race, age, or socioeconomic status.

Among older adults, the concept of stigmatization centers around age. The higher the age count, the more likely people are to believe in their inability to complete a certain task.

Such stigma may actually result in decreased memory or physical performance on a certain task, the Georgia State University study found.

From the study: “Stereotype threat is often thought of as a singular construct, with moderators and mechanisms that are stable across groups and domains. However, this is not always true.”

“Overall, this review highlights the need to approach the concept of stereotype threat with more granularity, allowing researchers to design more effective stereotype-threat interventions. It will also shed light on why certain stereotype threat effects “fail to replicate” across domains or groups,” the study also stated.

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