Age Differences in Processing Strategies of Emotionally Difficult Trade-off Decisions
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The present study explored age differences in emotionally difficult trade-off decisions and the underlying mechanism of the age-related effects. Forty younger adults and 40 older adults finished two decision tasks (i.e., purchasing a car vs. choosing a physician). They were randomly assigned to either the high trade-off difficulty condition or the low trade-off difficulty condition for both decision tasks. MouselabWEB software was used to trace participants' decision making process.
Results showed that older adults were more likely to use attribute-based processing strategies compared with younger adults in the high trade-off difficulty condition for both tasks. On the other hand, younger adults were more likely to use alternative-based processing strategies compared with older adults in the high trade-off difficulty condition. In the car decision task, the retrospective negative emotion instead of cognitive ability mediated the age-related effects in processing strategies in the high trade-off difficulty condition.
Ma, Xiaodong, "Age Differences in Processing Strategies of Emotionally Difficult Trade-off Decisions" (2010). Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations. 79.