Age differences in response to time pressures on information processing during decision making

Mitzi Schumacher, Joy M. Jacobs-Lawson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the aging literature, it is well established that a number of basic cognitive abilities,including information processing speed, decline with age. It is also known that olderadults often develop strategies to adapt to these changes. Although the literature indecision making has examined the effect of age on decision outcomes, less research hasfocused on age differences in decision processes. This chapter reports on the findingsfrom two studies that examined how older adults use adaptive strategies to make realworlddecisions under time constraints. In Study 1, total time for decision processing waslimited. Results showed that younger and older adults used different strategies but madesimilar decisions. In the second study, the time for viewing each piece of informationwas fixed rather than self-paced. Results showed that the adaptation of the young, but notolder adults, resulted in different decisions -indicative of lowering their decisioncriteria. Consistent with Study 1, older adults increased their organization of informationsearches. Finally, differences in subsequent mood and metacognitive beliefs in Study 2suggested differential effects for the experimental manipulations used in Studies 1 and 2.Together, these studies suggest that older adults' information processing strategies areinfluenced by time pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Directions in Aging Research
Subtitle of host publicationHealth and Cognition
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Psychology


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