This Is the Most Ageist State in America — Best Life – Best Life

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A new study ranks each state by its propensity for ageism. Here’s the worst one.
The way a society treats its elders is telling of its character, and some states in the U.S. are getting a failing report card for their tendency toward ageism. A new study from researchers at Stanford University and Michigan State has found that some places are better than others to grow old in—and you may want to plan your retirement accordingly. Read on to find out the most ageist state, according to their research, and for another state ranking, find out The Most Promiscuous State in America.
While people everywhere across the U.S. demonstrate some level of implicit age-based bias, certain states stood out for their negative associations with advanced age. “Early in life, we are exposed to an array of messages about what it means to be ‘old,'” the study explains. “Representations in media, advertising, entertainment, and art reflect and reinforce cultural notions about the value of maintaining a youthful appearance, with the implication that old age is something we should try to avoid or conceal,” the authors wrote.
So what exactly are those cultural notions? Co-authors of the study Hannah Giasson and William Chopik point out that older adults tend to be thought of as “warm” but also “incompetent.” This combination of traits translates into a lower social status, brought down by feelings of pity. Unfortunately, the authors note, these negative stereotypes are deeply ingrained and “particularly resistant to change, even in the face of stereotype-inconsistent behavior.”
Of course, all of us who live long enough will someday find ourselves in this marginalized demographic, and may be on the receiving end of ageism. “Older adults are one of the only stigmatized groups that we all become part of some day,” Chopnik told Fast Company. “And that’s always struck me as interesting—that we would treat so poorly a group of people that we’re destined to become.”
The authors add that this negative perception can also have real life implications on the physical and mental health of the advanced-age population. “As we encounter social cues and milestones that make age salient (e.g., birthdays, retirement, being called “senior”), negative attitudes and stereotypes about old age we have accumulated throughout our lives gain self-relevance, become integrated into our self-concepts, and can take a toll on health and well-being,” the study explains.
The researchers reviewed data pertaining to 803,009 individuals from 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, including the results of surveys that measured implicit and explicit age bias. Ultimately, this revealed which states were the worst offenders when it came to ageism—and the results may surprise you. Without further ado, read on for a the countdown of the 20 most ageist states in the U.S., and for more on aging, check out these 40 Words That Will Instantly Reveal Your True Age.
Read the original article on Best Life.

20
Ohio


Mean implicit age bias: 0.451

19
Illinois

 
Mean implicit age bias: 0.451

18
Arizona


Mean implicit age bias: 0.455

17
Pennsylvania


Mean implicit age bias: 0.455

16
Indiana


Mean implicit age bias: 0.455

15
Hawaii


Mean implicit age bias: 0.455

14
Delaware


Mean implicit age bias: 0.456

13
Tennessee


Mean implicit age bias: 0.456

12
Virginia

 
Mean implicit age bias: 0.457

11
Alabama


Mean implicit age bias: 0.458

10
Maryland


Mean implicit age bias: 0.460

9
Louisiana


Mean implicit age bias: 0.462

8
Georgia


Mean implicit age bias: 0.463

7
North Carolina


Mean implicit age bias: 0.469

6
Florida


Mean implicit age bias: 0.470

5
New York


Mean implicit age bias: 0.471

4
South Carolina


Mean implicit age bias: 0.472

3
Mississippi

 
Mean implicit age bias: 0.473

2
Connecticut


Mean implicit age bias: 0.478

1
New Jersey


Mean implicit age bias: 0.479
And for more state rankings that might pique your interest, check out The Most Hated State in America.
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