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Age and adaptation: Stronger decision updating about real world risks in older age

Age and adaptation: Stronger decision updating about real world risks in older age
Age and adaptation: Stronger decision updating about real world risks in older age
In later life, people are faced with a multitude of risky decisions that concern their health, finance, and personal security. Older adults often exercise caution in situations that involve risk. In this research, we asked whether older adults are also more responsive to warnings about potential risk. An answer to this question could reveal a factor underlying increased cautiousness in older age. In Study 1, participants decided whether they would engage in risky activities (e.g., using an ATM machine in the street) in four realistic scenarios about which participants could be expected to have relevant knowledge or experience. They then made posterior decisions after listening to audio extracts of real reports relevant to each activity. In Study 2, we explored the role that emotions play in decision updating. As in Study 1, participants made prior and posterior decisions, with the exception that for each scenario the reports were presented in their original audio format (high emotive) or in a written transcript format (low emotive). Following each posterior decision, participants indicated their emotional valence and arousal responses to the reports. In both studies, older adults engaged in fewer risky activities than younger adults, indicative of increased cautiousness in older age, and exhibited stronger decision updating in response to the reports. Older adults also showed stronger emotional responses to the reports, even though emotional responses did not differ for audio and written transcript formats. Finally, age differences in emotional responses to the reports accounted for age differences in decision updating.
0272-4332
1632-1643
Rolison, Jonathan J.
cf36bbd8-46bc-428f-943e-5c0e05c59c2a
Wood, Stacey
6cd19b4c-24f8-4610-808e-778f170ede9f
Hanoch, Yaniv
3cf08e80-8bda-4d3b-af1c-46c858aa9f39
Rolison, Jonathan J.
cf36bbd8-46bc-428f-943e-5c0e05c59c2a
Wood, Stacey
6cd19b4c-24f8-4610-808e-778f170ede9f
Hanoch, Yaniv
3cf08e80-8bda-4d3b-af1c-46c858aa9f39

Rolison, Jonathan J., Wood, Stacey and Hanoch, Yaniv (2017) Age and adaptation: Stronger decision updating about real world risks in older age. Risk Analysis, 37 (9), 1632-1643. (doi:10.1111/risa.12710).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In later life, people are faced with a multitude of risky decisions that concern their health, finance, and personal security. Older adults often exercise caution in situations that involve risk. In this research, we asked whether older adults are also more responsive to warnings about potential risk. An answer to this question could reveal a factor underlying increased cautiousness in older age. In Study 1, participants decided whether they would engage in risky activities (e.g., using an ATM machine in the street) in four realistic scenarios about which participants could be expected to have relevant knowledge or experience. They then made posterior decisions after listening to audio extracts of real reports relevant to each activity. In Study 2, we explored the role that emotions play in decision updating. As in Study 1, participants made prior and posterior decisions, with the exception that for each scenario the reports were presented in their original audio format (high emotive) or in a written transcript format (low emotive). Following each posterior decision, participants indicated their emotional valence and arousal responses to the reports. In both studies, older adults engaged in fewer risky activities than younger adults, indicative of increased cautiousness in older age, and exhibited stronger decision updating in response to the reports. Older adults also showed stronger emotional responses to the reports, even though emotional responses did not differ for audio and written transcript formats. Finally, age differences in emotional responses to the reports accounted for age differences in decision updating.

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EverydayRisks2015_Accepted - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 August 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 January 2017
Published date: 1 September 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434058
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434058
ISSN: 0272-4332
PURE UUID: f4fbe018-1455-49ae-a552-dcfd598b471e
ORCID for Yaniv Hanoch: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9453-4588

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Date deposited: 11 Sep 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 04:08

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Contributors

Author: Jonathan J. Rolison
Author: Stacey Wood
Author: Yaniv Hanoch ORCID iD

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