Stereotype accommodation concerning older people

Adrian Stanciu
Published Online:
21 Aug 2021
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From a cultural learning perspective, immigrants can integrate novel stereotypes learned in host countries into pre‐existing stereotypes. Research has not previously addressed this possibility in relation to stereotypes specifically about older people. This cross‐sectional study examines whether cultural differences concerning stereotypes about older people, duration of stay in the host culture and cultural orientation affect stereotype accommodation amongst immigrants from 40 host countries. In two multinational, country‐representative datasets—the European Social Survey (ESS) and the World Value Survey (WVS)—stereotype accommodation is measured along dimensions of warmth and competence and operationalised as absolute differences between the meta‐beliefs of immigrants and the corresponding average meta‐beliefs of the general population in host countries and countries of origin. Complex regressions that corrected beta‐coefficients at the individual level for country effects show that more meaningful cross‐cultural differences in the stereotype about the social warmth of older people predicted that immigrants' meta‐beliefs were less similar to the origin culture than the host culture. This finding is a first step towards understanding the effect that moving from one culture to another has on the stereotypes about old age held by immigrants, and, potentially, how this will impact their own well‐being when they become old.

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