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Categorization by Age

Swift, Hannah J. and Abrams, Dominic and Drury, Lisbeth and Lamont, Ruth A. (2018) Categorization by Age. In: Shackelford, Todd K. and Weekes-Shackelford, Viviana A., eds. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer. E-ISBN 978-3-319-16999-6. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2431-1) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:67666)

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The process of age categorization serves biological,

psychological, and social functions by

enabling us to deal with stimuli from the world

around us more effectively. For instance, categorizing

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 attractiveness,

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 categorization,

both as a way of classifying others to simplify

the world around us and classifying

ourselves to help define our own identity. We

then explore the social psychological and behavioral

consequences or risks of age categorization

and how it underpins age stereotypes, age prejudice,

and aged-based discrimination.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2431-1
Uncontrolled keywords: Age categories; Age categorization; Age groups
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Emily Fell
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 09:51 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 11:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abrams, Dominic:
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