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Decision-making strategies and performance among seniors

  • Besedeš, Tibor
  • Deck, Cary
  • Sarangi, Sudipta
  • Shor, Mikhael

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.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111001910
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 524-533

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:2:p:524-533
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2011. "Individual risk attitudes: Measurement, determinants, and behavioral consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20048, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Sudipta Sarangi & Tibor Besedes & Cary Deck & Mikhael Shor, . "Age Effects and Heuristics in Decision Making," Departmental Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  3. 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.
  4. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2011. "How individuals choose health insurance: An experimental analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 799-819, August.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521438834 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Arne Risa Hole, 2006. "Small-sample properties of tests for heteroscedasticity in the conditional logit model," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 06/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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