ABSTRACT

Ageism occurs when people are judged negatively due to their advanced age. Negative and positive subtypes of older people exist and evaluations of members of these subtypes differ. The double standard of aging suggests that people believe women reach middle and old age sooner and physical decline begins at a younger age for women than men. Older adults are largely absent in the media. Older adults have difficulties finding jobs and being accepted at work. Ableism is prejudice against people with disabilities; these attitudes are affected by the nature of the disability and the context in which interactions take place. Both older adults and people with disabilities are often addressed with patronizing language and receive unneeded help. This bias can be effectively addressed by direct communication and with experience interacting with members of these groups. Attitudes toward mental illness are more negative than attitudes toward physical disabilities because mental illness is associated with danger and unpredictability. Attractive people are judged more positively than less attractive people and tall people are viewed more positively than shorter people. People who are overweight are stigmatized because people believe that weight is controllable. Weight bias occurs in settings such as health care, employment, and education.