Age Need Not Affect Sound Decision Making

DURHAM, N.C., June 4 (UPI) — Advanced age does not have to discount sound decisions and cognition makes the difference in decision-making, U.S. researchers said.

Scott Huettel, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of the Duke University’s Center for Neuroeconomic Studies and colleagues conducted a study in which participants could gain or lose money based on their decisions.

The researchers also tested subjects’ cognitive abilities — including how fast they could process new information and how well they could remember that information – among people ages 66-76 and 18-35.

“Once we accounted for cognitive abilities like memory and processing speed, age had nothing to do with predicting whether an individual would make the best economic decisions on the tasks we assigned,” Huettel said in a statement.

Age-related effects seemed to be linked to individual differences in processing speed and memory, with age not a significant predictor of decision quality, Huettel said.

The findings are published in Psychology and Aging.

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