This study explored the use of process tracing techniques in examining the decision-making processes of older and younger adults. Thirty-six college-age and thirty-six retirement-age participants decided which one of six cars they would purchase on the basis of computer-accessed data. They provided information search protocols. Results indicate that total time to reach a decision did not differ according to age. However, retirement-age participants used less information, spent more time viewing, and re-viewed fewer bits of information than college-age participants. Information search patterns differed markedly between age groups. Patterns of retirement-age adults indicated their use of noncompensatory decision rules which, according to decision-making literature (Payne, 1976), reduce cognitive processing demands. The patterns of the college-age adults indicated their use of compensatory decision rules, which have higher processing demands.
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology|
|State||Published - 1990|
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