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Myth and Reality of Aging, 1974 (ICPSR 7657)

Principal Investigator(s): National Council on Aging


This survey, conducted by Louis Harris and Associates during June and July 1974, elicited the views of 4,254 respondents on the stereotypes and reality of aging. Two questionnaires were used, one asking 18- to 64-year-olds about their perceptions of how people ages 65 and older felt about aging, and the second asking people ages 65 and older how they actually felt. Demographic characteristics and information regarding attitudes on aging and interests of the aged are also included.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


Dataset - Download All Files (49.924 MB)
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Study Description


National Council on Aging. MYTH AND REALITY OF AGING, 1974. ICPSR07657-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1998. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07657.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07657.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Council on Aging

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    aging, attitudes, public opinion

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1974

Universe:    Persons aged 18 or older residing in the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Users should refer to column positions in the setup files provided and not the codebook positions. However, the frequencies in the codebook are correct.


Sample:    Stratified random sample. There were four national samples: (1) a cross-section of approximately 1,500 adults 18 years and older, (2) an oversample of approximately 2,400 adults aged 65 years and older, (3) an oversample of approximately 360 adults aged 55-64, and (4) an oversample of approximately 200 Blacks aged 65 and older.

Data Source:

personal interviews

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-03-18

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 1997-08-15 The data have been reformatted, changing the record length from 914 to 916. SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been created along with a Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the codebook. Also, the codebook information for VAR0869, describing the sample distribution, has changed.

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