TitleUse of descriptive and experiential information in decision making by young and older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHess, TM, O'Brien, EL, Growney, CM, Hafer, JG
JournalNeuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn
Date Published2018 07
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Cognition, Decision Making, Female, Humans, Learning, Male, Memory, Risk-Taking, Young Adult

Age differences involving decision by description versus decision by experience were examined using the same general task structure to facilitate comparisons across decision types. Experiment 1 compared younger (19-43 years) and older (65-85 years) adults in four different experimental conditions involving a choice between a low-risk, low-return bet versus a high-risk, high-return bet. Experiment 2 compared young (18-27 years) to older (60-87 years) adults using similar experimental conditions, but with decisions involving a risky versus a certain option. Contrary to expectations, minimal differences were observed between ages in either study. Higher levels of ability and numeracy were associated with better performance and greater ability to benefit from experience, but the impact of these factors was not moderated by age. The results suggest that factors other than the simple distinction between decisions by description versus experience are necessary to characterize the nature of age effects in decision-making.

Alternate JournalNeuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn
PubMed ID28492092
PubMed Central IDPMC6129972
Grant ListR01 AG005552 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R56 AG005552 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States