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    Categorization by age

    Swift, H.J. and Abrams, D. and Drury, Lisbeth and Lamont, R.A. Categorization by age. In: Shackelford, T.K. and Weekes-Shackelford, V.A. (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer. ISBN 9783319169996.

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    The process of age categorization serves biologi- cal, psychological, and social functions by enabling us to deal with stimuli from the world around us more effectively. For instance, catego- rizing the self as belonging to a particular age group can inform and provide a meaningful social identity, which is fundamental to how we define and see ourselves (Harwood et al. 1995; Tajfel and Turner 1979; Tajfel 1981). Perceiving others’ age can inform our feelings and behavior toward them, and can underpin judgments about attrac- tiveness, which is associated with reproductive success (Jokela 2009). In this entry, we draw on social psychological, cognitive, and evolutionary theories to provide an overview of categorization by age. After defining age categories or groups and providing examples of the subjective nature of their boundaries, we provide an overview of the cognitive processes underpinning how people perceive others’ age, the biological and social cues used to estimate, and categorize others by age. We consider the function of age categoriza- tion, both as a way of classifying others to sim- plify the world around us and classifying ourselves to help define our own identity. We then explore the social psychological and behav- ioral consequences or risks of age categorization and how it underpins age stereotypes, age preju- dice, and aged-based discrimination.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Lisbeth Drury
    Date Deposited: 08 May 2018 09:55
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:40


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