is prejudice against the elderly and the discrimination based on aging. Many myths exist about the capabilities of older people, especially older women, myths that lead to ill‐founded stereotypes. Particularly in the United States, ageism persists in the job market and in the way older people are treated, both in real life and in the media. It is predicted that by the year 2030 one in five Americans will be elderly; more than 8 million will be 85 and over, and most of them will be women. Unless the problem of ageism is addressed, it will be an increasingly serious and far‐reaching problem.
Psychologists who study adult development, as well as those in related disciplines such as gerontology, work toward an understanding of the aging process, understanding arising from data based on fact rather than stereotypes and myths.