Date of Award
Master of Science in Psychology
First Reader/Committee Chair
As college students are preparing to enter the workforce as professionals, it is important that we examine their explicit and implicit attitudes toward older workers to investigate what organizations can do on behalf of older workers. For instance, organizations may have policies that are giving preferential treatment toward older workers and reinforcing younger workers’ negative attitudes. For the present study, I used a scenario based-procedure in which participants read about an older worker who has been promoted based on an employment policy that favors older workers or the most competent workers. I examined students’ pre- and post explicit and implicit attitudes toward older individuals for each condition. Students in the preferential treatment condition did not have significantly different explicit attitudes from students in the merit condition, thus Hypothesis 1 was supported. Aside from treatment, students’ post implicit attitudes significantly decreased (i.e., were less negative) from students’ pre-implicit attitudes. Therefore, Hypothesis 2 was partially supported. In addition, students in the preferential treatment condition exhibited only negative emotions toward the older worker and not harmful behaviors. Therefore, Hypothesis 3 was partially supported. Finally, there was no impact of preferential treatment toward older workers on students’ aging anxiety. Implications of these findings with regard to both implicit and explicit attitudes toward older workers are discussed.
Bravo, Rachel, "COLLEGE STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD OLDER WORKERS" (2017). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 442.