Ageism, Honesty, and Trust

35 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2014 Last revised: 1 Oct 2017

See all articles by Eric Schniter

Eric Schniter

Center for the Study of Human Nature - CSUF; Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute

Timothy W. Shields

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics; Chapman University - Economic Science Institute

Date Written: January 29, 2014

Abstract

Age-based discrimination is considered undesirable, yet we know little about age stereotypes and their effects on honesty and trust. To investigate this aspect of ageism, we presented older adults (over age 50) and younger adults (under age 25) with incentivized belief elicitation tasks about anticipated interaction behaviors and then a series of same, different, and unknown-aged group interactions in a strategic-communication game. All adults shared consensual stereotypes about uncooperative younger adults and cooperative older adults that demonstrated “wisdom of crowds”. While the out-group was consistently stereotyped as relatively different and more dishonest and suspicious than observed to be, the in-group was neither consistently stereotyped more accurately nor treated with more honesty and trust. Younger adults earned more by acting dishonestly with older adults and older adults earned less by trusting younger adults (despite stereotyping them as dishonest). We discuss how ageism is relevant to intergenerational cooperation in an aging society.

A previous draft of this paper was circulated under the title “Ageism and Cooperation.”

Keywords: ageism, intergenerational interaction, stereotype, discrimination, honesty, trust

JEL Classification: A13, D03, J14

Suggested Citation

Schniter, Eric and Shields, Timothy W., Ageism, Honesty, and Trust (January 29, 2014). Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 51, 19-29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2417086

Eric Schniter (Contact Author)

Center for the Study of Human Nature - CSUF ( email )

800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
United States

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/ericschniter/

Timothy W. Shields

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
United States
714.289.2092 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/timothywshields/

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

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