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Decision-making Strategies and Performance among Seniors

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  • Sudipta Sarangi

    ()

  • Tibor Besedes

    ()

  • Cary Deck

    ()

  • Mikhael Shor

    ()

Abstract

Using paper and pencil experiments administered in senior centers, we examine decision-making performance in multi-attribute decision problems. We find a significant decline in performance with age due to reduced reliance on common heuristics among our oldest subjects. Subjects in their early sixties incorporate a wide array of heuristics, septuagenarians employ progressively fewer strategies, and subjects in their 80s make nearly random selections. 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2011-08.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2011-08

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  1. Tibor Besedeš & Cary Deck & Sudipta Sarangi & Mikhael Shor, 2012. "Age Effects and Heuristics in Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 580-595, May.
  2. Betty E. Tanius & Stacey Wood & Yaniv Hanoch & Thomas Rice, 2009. "Aging and choice: Applications to Medicare Part D," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(1), pages 92-101, February.
  3. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2011. "How individuals choose health insurance: An experimental analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 799-819, August.
  4. Arne Risa Hole, 2006. "Small-sample properties of tests for heteroscedasticity in the conditional logit model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(18), pages 1-14.
  5. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  6. Cole, Catherine A & Balasubramanian, Siva K, 1993. " Age Differences in Consumers' Search for Information: Public Policy Implications," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 157-69, June.
  7. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
  8. Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834, December.
  9. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. Florian Heiss & Adam Leive & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2012. "Plan Selection in Medicare Part D: Evidence from Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 18166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Besedes, Tibor & Deck, Cary & Quintanar, Sarah & Sarangi, Sudipta & Shor, Mikhael, 2011. "Free-Riding and Performance in Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Groups," MPRA Paper 33948, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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