Decision-Making Strategies and Performance Among Seniors
26 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2011 Last revised: 1 Oct 2012
Date Written: June 13, 2011
Using paper and pencil experiments administered in senior centers, we examine decision-making performance in multi-attribute decision problems. We differentiate the effects of declining cognitive performance and changing cognitive process on decision-making performance of seniors as they age. We find a significant decline in performance with age due to reduced reliance on common heuristics and increased decision-making randomness among our oldest subjects. However, we find that increasing the number of options in a decision problem increases the number of heuristics brought to the task. This challenges the choice overload view that people give up when confronted with too much choice.
Keywords: experiments, decision making, choice overload, age effects, heuristics
JEL Classification: C91, D03, I18
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