Differential sensitivity of administration format of measures of attitudes toward older adults

Helmes, Edward, and Campbell, Alistair (2010) Differential sensitivity of administration format of measures of attitudes toward older adults. Gerontologist, 50 (1). pp. 60-65.

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Purpose: Reluctance to reveal sensitive or socially undesirable attitudes has posed a problem for measurement of personal attributes such as attitudes toward older people. These have long been documented to be negative and likely arise both from fears of one's own aging and the modern societal emphasis on youth. In order to increase our knowledge about the measurement of attitudes toward older people, we compared the administration of attitude measures toward older people by computer and conventional paper-and-pencil methods.

Design and Methods: We contrasted the responses of 60 university undergraduates (mean age 24.3 years, SD 8.51; 68% female) to five traditional paper-and-pencil format attitude questionnaires toward older people with responses to the same questionnaires made using an Internet delivery and response mode.

Results: Results showed that more negative attitudes were revealed using the computer-based Internet response format for all scales. Only two scales did not show significant differences between formats.

Implications: Future research on attitudes toward older people should be aware that results are dependent not only on the particular scale that is used by also on the format of administration, with more negative attitudes revealed with computer administration.

Item ID: 12161
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1758-5341
Keywords: stereotype, ageism, older workers, internet-based assessment
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2010 04:42
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 100%
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