Ageism is defined as the systematic stereotyping and discrimination of a person based on his/her age (Butler, 1969). Though ageism is often explicit in that individuals realize and acknowledge their biases, some age biases are implicit, appearing without awareness. In the current study, the authors developed a Child-Age–Implicit Association Test that could be utilized to determine whether an intergenerational program is effective. Data were collected from third- and fourth-grade children on both the Child-Age IAT and two explicit measures of bias regarding older adults. Results indicated that when measured implicitly, children at this young age already reveal negative biases regarding older adults. However, when measured explicitly, children do not report liking younger persons more than older persons. Thus, it seems that the children realize they should not report negative views of older people, though they might actually feel them. Having an implicit measure of the effectiveness of an intergenerational program is beneficial in that it avoids the problem of social desirability affecting responses.
- explicit attitudes
- implicit attitudes