Most Americans think society today pays too little attention to the thoughts and opinions of older generations. Americans of all ages think so, though younger people tend to be less likely to agree. One in five adults under thirty think society pays too much — rather than too little — attention to older generations.
If most adults think society should pay more attention to the opinions of older people, it may be because Americans overwhelmingly think wisdom comes with age, both for themselves and for people generally. Eighty-four percent of think most people get wiser as they get older, and 89% think they, themselves, are wiser than they were ten years ago. Adults of all age groups feel this way.
But even though they think their views may not be considered enough, most Americans think older people are generally treated well. Six in 10 think society today treats older people at least somewhat well, including most Americans aged 65 and older.
This poll was conducted by telephone October 12-17, 2021 among a random sample of 1,010 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.
The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.
Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.