Perceptions of Aging Across 26 Cultures and Their Culture-Level Associates

Corinna E. Löckenhoff, Filip De Fruyt, Antonio Terracciano, Robert R. McCrae, Marleen De Bolle, Paul T. Costa, Maria E. Aguilar-Vafaie, Chang kyu Ahn, Hyun nie Ahn, Lidia Alcalay, Juri Allik, Tatyana V. Avdeyeva, Claudio Barbaranelli, Veronica Benet-Martinez, Marek Blatný, Denis Bratko, Thomas R. Cain, Jarret T. Crawford, Margarida P. Lima, Emília FickováMirona Gheorghiu, Jamin Halberstadt, Martina Hřebíčková, Lee Jussim, Waldemar Klinkosz, Goran Knežević, Nora Leibovich de Figueroa, Thomas A. Martin, Iris Marušić, Khairul Anwar Mastor, Daniel R. Miramontez, Katsuharu Nakazato, Florence Nansubuga, V. S. Pramila, Anu Realo, Jean Pierre Rolland, Jerome Rossier, Vanina Schmidt, Andrzej Sekowski, Jane Shakespeare-Finch, Yoshiko Shimonaka, Franco Simonetti, Jerzy Siuta, Peter B. Smith, Barbara Szmigielska, Lei Wang, Mami Yamaguchi, Michelle Yik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


College students (N = 3,435) in 26 cultures reported their perceptions of age-related changes in physical, cognitive, and socioemotional areas of functioning and rated societal views of aging within their culture. There was widespread cross-cultural consensus regarding the expected direction of aging trajectories with (a) perceived declines in societal views of aging, physical attractiveness, the ability to perform everyday tasks, and new learning; (b) perceived increases in wisdom, knowledge, and received respect; and (c) perceived stability in family authority and life satisfaction. Cross-cultural variations in aging perceptions were associated with culture-level indicators of population aging, education levels, values, and national character stereotypes. These associations were stronger for societal views on aging and perceptions of socioemotional changes than for perceptions of physical and cognitive changes. A consideration of culture-level variables also suggested that previously reported differences in aging perceptions between Asian and Western countries may be related to differences in population structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-954
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • cross-cultural
  • national character stereotypes
  • stereotypes
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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