Age-related within-task adaptations in sequential decision making: Considering cognitive and motivational factors

Klara Rydzewska , Bettina von Helversen , Małgorzata Kossowska , Mikołaj Magnuski , Grzegorz Sędek


Many decisions require sequentially searching through the available alternatives. In these tasks, older adults have been shown to perform worse than younger adults, but the reasons why age differences occur are still unclear. In the present research, we tackle this question by investigating which strategies older and younger adults adopt and how these strategies relate to individual differences in cognitive (mental speed, working memory capacity) and motivational (need for cognitive closure) variables. To achieve this goal, we conducted two studies in which older and younger adults performed a computerized sequential choice task. Study 1 indicated that older adults changed their decision-making strategies throughout the task by reducing the number of options they considered. This change in strategy did not decrease performance because searching less allowed older adults to choose more promising options. In the second study we manipulated whether a long or short search was optimal. In the beginning older adults performed worse than younger adults independent of whether short or long search was adaptive. However, in the second half of the task we found age differences in performance when long search was required, but not when short search was required. In both studies whether or not older adults changed their strategy depended on their need for cognitive closure, suggesting that avoiding cognitive closure facilitates adaptive flexibility. Together, the two studies provide evidence for compensatory strategy adaptations among older adults completing sequential choice tasks.
Author Klara Rydzewska (Wydział Psychologii)
Klara Rydzewska,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Bettina von Helversen
Bettina von Helversen,,
, Małgorzata Kossowska
Małgorzata Kossowska,,
, Mikołaj Magnuski (Wydział Psychologii)
Mikołaj Magnuski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Grzegorz Sędek (Wydział Psychologii)
Grzegorz Sędek,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesPsychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.85
Keywords in Englishaging, cognitive abilities, need for cognitive closure, sequential choice
ASJC Classification2717 Geriatrics and Gerontology; 1302 Ageing; 3207 Social Psychology
Languageen angielski
KR BvH MK MM GS_Psychology and Aging 2018.pdf 897.56 KB
Additional file
Oświadczenie_publ_Psychology and Aging_2018_GSedek.pdf 359.19 KB
2018-04-23-13-46-54-804.pdf 19.27 KB
Magnuski_afiliacja.jpg 350.27 KB
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.444; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.361 (2) - 2017=3.534 (5)
Citation count*8 (2021-03-02)
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