Wisdom and aging: Irrational preferences in college students but not older adults

Katya Tentori, Daniel Osherson, Lynn Hasher, Cynthia May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

A decision-maker is "irregular" if she would choose B from {A, B, C} but not from {A, B} (for example, preferring vanilla ice cream in a choice between vanilla and chocolate, but chocolate in a choice among vanilla, chocolate and strawberry). Similarly to previous studies we observed irregular choices by college students faced with hypothetical discount cards for supermarkets. However, older adults showed no such tendency. The same pattern was observed in three separate studies. We interpret the results in terms of a choice strategy by older adults that protects them from excessive spending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCognition
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • College students
  • Irrational preferences
  • Older adults
  • Wisdom and aging

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