Decision-Making Strategies and Performance Among Seniors

26 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2011 Last revised: 1 Oct 2012

See all articles by Tibor Besedes

Tibor Besedes

Georgia Institute of Technology

Cary A. Deck

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies

Sudipta Sarangi

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Mikhael Shor

University of Connecticut Department of Economics

Date Written: June 13, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Besedes, Tibor and Deck, Cary A. and Sarangi, Sudipta and Shor, Mikhael, Decision-Making Strategies and Performance Among Seniors (June 13, 2011). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 81, No. 2, 2012, pp. 524-533, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1750565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1750565

Tibor Besedes (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

221 Bobby Dodd Way
Atlanta, GA 30332-0615
United States

Cary A. Deck

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 870244
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Sudipta Sarangi

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ( email )

250 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Mikhael Shor

University of Connecticut Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mikeshor.com/

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