understanding ageism

Myths and negative stereotypes about the elderly population have negative effects on the assessment and treatment of elderly clients. The most common untrue myths are that most aged individuals are irritable, angry, or unhappy; that older drivers have more vehicle accidents compared to younger drivers; that most live alone; or that aged individuals are more likely than younger people to be victims of crime (Palmore, 2005).

A counselor’s attitude toward the elderly can negatively affect his/her treatment of elderly clients. The degree to which a counselor can be free of such stereotypes against the elderly will improve the care the client will receive.

For this week’s discussion read about ageism in your text along with in the lecture notes and take the Age Implicit Association Test (IAT) at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/, which measures the degree to which humans prefer young versus old faces. Then discuss the following:

  • What did the Web site indicate was your outcome? Did you have a strong or weak preference for young faces?
  • What have you learned about your own biases and how to decrease them, if necessary?
  • Suppose a counselor has IAT results indicating a very strong preference for young faces and also has a likely corresponding tendency toward age discrimination. What steps could he/she take to lower the tendency toward age discrimination in order to be a more effective provider of services to elderly clients? Give at least two steps.

Write your initial response in a minimum of 200 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

By the due date assigned, post your response to the Discussion Area below. Through the end of the module, review and comment on at least two peers’ responses. Provide a statement of clarification, a point of view with rationale, challenge a point of discussion, or draw a relationship between one or more points of the discussion of at least two other students. Each reply post should be a minimum of 100 words.

Discussion Grading Criteria and Rubric

Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Quality of initial posting, including fulfillment of assignment instructions


Quality of responses to classmates


Frequency of responses to classmates


Reference to supporting readings and other materials


Language and grammar