What Are Some Examples of Stereotypes of Elderly People?

Some stereotypes of elderly people are positive, such as the idea that wisdom comes with age and that an elderly person’s wide range of experience results in intelligence and good sense; other stereotypes of elderly people are negative, such as the idea that elderly people are stuck in another time and baffled by and out of touch with contemporary society. In some cases, these stereotypes represent a fundamental truth about an elderly person, but age does not lead to a single experience and not all elderly people are out of touch with society. Other stereotypes of elderly people include the idea that people reach a certain age where they stop being useful in society and the idea that old people are stubborn and unwilling to try new things.

While there are both positive and negative stereotypes of elderly people that are not necessarily true, the New York Times has reported that the ways each elderly or aging person buys in to certain stereotypes may influence his or her behavior and personality as he or she ages. For example, an aging person who believes that wisdom comes with age may report feeling wiser and more complete than those people who do not believe that age leads to increased intelligence.