The paper in a nutshell: we have previously developed a concept we called “marketized mentality” (or “MM”) that depicts a strong personal commitment to the principal values associated with the market economy.
In our prior studies, we found that people with MM are more likely to devaluate groups such as the unemployed, the homeless, persons with disabilities, but also immigrants because such persons are readily stigmatized as being “unprofitable”. We now wanted to test, whether such a mechanism also holds true for the phenomenon of ageism (i.e. the devaluation of older persons) with a specific interest in the perception of older persons as burdensome. We made use of World Values Survey data of individuals from 59 countries.
We find that individuals exhibiting MM – a mentality characterized by a dominance of egoistic, market values at the expense of moral solidarity – are particularly likely to perceive older persons as burdensome. Moreover, we consider country characteristics and find that countries where MM is widespread are associated with high levels of ageism, too. Other important predictors: a low share of older people and fast ageing countries, stressing the importance of favorable in-gorup-out-group constellations as well as of pressures of demographic aging that amplify the perception of older populations as being burdensome.
MM appers useful for explaining both individual-level and country-level variation in the perception that older persons are a burden to society. The results also suggest that MM serves as a devaluation mechanism that operates in a similar manner across different target groups.
Here´s my twitter-Thread on the paper: