Don’t ignore age, but don’t describe it using numbers.
Describing Personas
Indi Young
1.4K35

I agree that “age” sometimes seems like a lazy way to talk about drives of behavior and attitudes. Yet, is it pretty complicated to unpack what age means: for example, a person in their late 60s right now might differ from a person in their late 50s right now in part because of “period effects” (to be post retirement right after the 2008 stock market crash might be a singular kind of experience for some who used the stock market to save for retirement), or because of “cohort effects” (to be in your late 60s now was to be about 18 in the middle of the 1960s which was a very distinctive time to be going through a formative stage of life) or because of “life cycle effects” (i.e. people in their late 60s are, on average, physiologically, including cognitively different from people in their 50s). I’m not sure how not using numbers helps engage with the complex ways in which “age” can be said to “cause” behavior. (In fact there is a literature on “age-period-cohort” models which grapple with the fact that you can’t really separate all these effects of age from each other without lots of assumptions).

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