Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mary Kay Lane

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The purpose of this study was twofold: to extend Fazio’s (1986) model of attitude-behaviour correspondence within the context of attitudes toward the elderly, and to further develop Lane’s (1989) Attitudes Toward the Elderly Scale (ATES) and assess its construct validity. In the first phase, 452 introductory students completed a modified version of Lane’s (1989) ATES, a measure of experience with the elderly, and Snyder’s (1974) Self-Monitoring Scale. During phase 2, six weeks later, participants evaluated a job candidate to investigate how the moderating variables of self-monitoring, salience, direct experience, and situational cues maximized or minimized attitude-behaviour correspondence. A total of 96 high and low self-monitors were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. In three conditions, namely attitude salience, contrary situational cues, and a control group, participants evaluated an elderly job target (age=61). The fourth condition involved a young target (age=31) to serve as a baseline for assessing bias toward the elderly. Participants listened to an audiotape of a job interview and then evaluated the job candidate, who was the target person. The dependent measures of competence liking, recognition memory, memory bias, and social distance were aggregated. Participants also rated how typical the target person was viewed to be for his age. Factor analysis of the modified ATES resulted in two correlated factors that were combined. As predicted there was a modest overall attitude—behaviour correlation (r=.20, p<.05), a stronger correlation for only low self-monitors (r=.38, p<.05), and a nonsignificant correlation for high self-monitors. As predicted there was substantial attitude-behaviour correspondence in the elderly target control for low (r=.76, p<0.5) but not for high self-monitors. Typicality was an important predictor for low but not high self-monitors which suggested a refinement of Fazio’s (1986) model. Contrary situational cues resulted in no attitude-behaviour correspondence which provided further support for Fazio’s model. Salience resulted in significant attitude-behaviour correspondence for high (r=.60, p<.05) but not low self-monitors. Finally, there was no evidence of bias, either favourable or unfavourable, toward the elderly. Results were discussed in terms of both a refinement and extension of Fazio’s model; self-monitoring was a crucial moderating variable and the model predicted the conditions under which attitude-behaviour correspondence would occur within the context of attitude toward the elderly. The results demonstrated that the modified ATES was a valid and reliable measure of attitudes toward the elderly.

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