1932

Abstract

This review summarizes research and theory on aging and decision making. We trace the conceptual and historical origins of using behavioral decision-making tasks to identify age differences in decision-making competence. We review cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that suggest that some facets of decision-making competence remain relatively stable across adulthood. We describe how older adults’ decision-making competence may be challenged by complex decisions that tax their fluid cognitive abilities, especially when decisions are not seen as personally relevant. We discuss how relying on life experience can offset declines in fluid reasoning skills and how age-related shifts in motivation and improvements in emotion regulation provide an advantage when decisions involve losses and missed opportunities. We discuss how existing knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the aging decision maker might be applied to improve decision-making competence and outline next steps for advancing understanding of decision making across adulthood.

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2020-12-15
2024-04-21
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