Event Title

A New College Climate, An Old Problem: Exploring Ageism on Campus

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

6-4-2010 10:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2010 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Jeffrey Buchanan

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Ageism is ―any prejudice or discrimination against or in favor of an age group‖ (Palmore 1990). Ageism towards non-traditional students is often suspected or assumed, but it is unclear to what extent it exists. Non- traditional students make up 40% of the college population in the United States (Stokes 2006). The current study will investigate to what extent ageism exists on college campuses. A sample of 200 college students of varying ages will participate in this study. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions. In the first condition, participants will read a scenario depicting a traditional-aged college student engaging in a variety of behaviors (e.g., frequent hand-raising, asking off-topic questions) in a college classroom. In the second condition, participants will read an identical scenario, but the student depicted will be a non- traditional student. Participants will then be asked to complete a survey about their reactions to the scenario. The survey will ask participants about how they would feel if they were actually in the situation presented in the scenario, what their opinions are about the student depicted in the scenario, and how they think the professor described in the scenario should respond to the student’s behavior. It is hypothesized that participants reading the scenario involving a non-traditional student will respond more negatively toward the student depicted in the survey compared participants reading the scenario involving a traditional-aged student. This study may provide valuable information concerning how the behavior of non-traditional students in college classrooms is perceived.

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Apr 6th, 10:00 AM Apr 6th, 12:00 PM

A New College Climate, An Old Problem: Exploring Ageism on Campus

CSU 201

Ageism is ―any prejudice or discrimination against or in favor of an age group‖ (Palmore 1990). Ageism towards non-traditional students is often suspected or assumed, but it is unclear to what extent it exists. Non- traditional students make up 40% of the college population in the United States (Stokes 2006). The current study will investigate to what extent ageism exists on college campuses. A sample of 200 college students of varying ages will participate in this study. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions. In the first condition, participants will read a scenario depicting a traditional-aged college student engaging in a variety of behaviors (e.g., frequent hand-raising, asking off-topic questions) in a college classroom. In the second condition, participants will read an identical scenario, but the student depicted will be a non- traditional student. Participants will then be asked to complete a survey about their reactions to the scenario. The survey will ask participants about how they would feel if they were actually in the situation presented in the scenario, what their opinions are about the student depicted in the scenario, and how they think the professor described in the scenario should respond to the student’s behavior. It is hypothesized that participants reading the scenario involving a non-traditional student will respond more negatively toward the student depicted in the survey compared participants reading the scenario involving a traditional-aged student. This study may provide valuable information concerning how the behavior of non-traditional students in college classrooms is perceived.

Recommended Citation

Breuer, Jessica. "A New College Climate, An Old Problem: Exploring Ageism on Campus." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 6, 2010.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2010/oral-session-09/4