Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older Chinese consumers perceive themselves younger than actual age

Date:
May 18, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have studied how older Chinese consumers perceived their age. They found that a majority of older Chinese consumers perceive themselves to be younger than their actual age. Twenty percent of those people perceive themselves to be at least 10 years younger than they actually are.

Since the Chinese government enacted the one-child policy in 1978 as a form of population control, the average age of Chinese citizens has begun to get older quickly. After recognizing this trend, Rui Yao, a University of Missouri assistant professor in the Personal Financial Planning department of the College of Human Environmental Sciences, studied the self-perceived age of aging Chinese consumers and how those perceptions should affect marketing strategies aimed at those consumers. Yao found the self-perceived age of older Chinese consumers to be significantly younger than their actual age.

Related Articles


"Someone who is 50 doesn't think they are 50," Yao said. "They see themselves as 45 or 40 years old."

During the study, older Chinese consumers were surveyed in six different cities in China. Only consumers that were 50 years old and older were surveyed. While almost 50% of the people surveyed were between the ages of 50 and 59, only about 33% perceived themselves as being that old. Overall, 52% of the total respondents perceived themselves to be younger than their actual age, among whom, about 20% perceived themselves to be at least 10 years younger and 6% had a self-perceived age that was at least 20 years younger than their life age. Yao believes these statistics offer some clarity to marketers looking to focus on this age group.

"This study shows that when marketing products to this demographic, it is wise to avoid saying they are for older people," Yao said. "Having a gray hair image, or using the term 'silver' isn't going to be very well received by these consumers. Marketing professionals who hold the old belief that 'the old man decays' are challenged to re-evaluate and reposition the older consumer market. People live longer today. The 'mid-life' and 'middle-age' concepts are shifting. They used to describe those in their 30s and now it appears that the 50s may be the new 30s. Marketers should use more energetic and youthful campaigns. If a product makes them feel younger, they will be more likely to use it."

Yao also found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that females were more likely than males to perceive their age as younger than it actually was. She also found that older consumers who were employed tended to feel younger than those who were retired. Additionally, those who earned a higher income felt younger than those who earned less.

Yao says this is the first study of its kind to research the age perceptions of older Chinese consumers. This study was published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Rui Yao is an assistant professor in the Personal Financial Planning Department at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include financial risk tolerance, savings behavior and motives, retirement, debt management, and household consumption patterns. Her research received the "Best Paper" award from the CFP Board. Yao is a member of the research team on the first national survey of Chinese Consumer Finance and Investor Education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bin Ying, Rui Yao. Self-perceived Age and Attitudes Toward Marketing of Older Consumers in China. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s10834-010-9199-y

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Older Chinese consumers perceive themselves younger than actual age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518121635.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, May 18). Older Chinese consumers perceive themselves younger than actual age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518121635.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Older Chinese consumers perceive themselves younger than actual age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518121635.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins