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Age identity, stereotypes, and older consumers’ service experiences

by Kate Westberg, Mike Reid, and Foula Kopanidis (2021) Journal of Services Marketing

This study aims to use the lens of the stereotype threat theory to explore older consumers’ age identity and experiences with service providers. This study used semi-structured interviews with Australian consumers aged between 55 and 69. Data were examined using thematic analysis. Older consumers justify a younger cognitive age by distancing themselves from the negative stereotypes associated with ageing and by associating themselves with attitudes and behaviours consistent with a younger age identity. Older consumers are confronted with age-based stereotype threats in a services context through four practices. Exposure to these threats results in service failure and can have a negative impact on both consumers’ ability to function effectively as consumers and their overall well-being.


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