Catherine E. Bowen and Ursula M. Staudinger

 The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, August 2012


Research has consistently revealed a negative relationship between chronological age and promotion orientation, that is, the motivational orientation toward approaching possible gains. In addition, experimental research has demonstrated that activating positive self-relevant stereotypes (e.g., for men, the stereotype that men are good at math) can stimulate increases in promotion orientation. Integrating and applying this research to the work context, we hypothesized that the relationship between age and promotion orientation would depend on employees’ perceptions of the stereotype of older workers in their work context, such that there would be no negative relationship between age and promotion orientation when individuals perceive a more positive older worker stereotype.