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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 119; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010119

The Effects of Age, Priming, and Working Memory on Decision-Making

Psychology Department, University of Alabama, P.O. Box 870348, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
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Academic Editors: Lori E. James and Meredith Shafto
Received: 1 August 2015 / Revised: 25 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 11 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Cognition)
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Abstract

In the current study, we examined the effects of priming and personality on risky decision-making while playing the Game of Dice Task (GDT). In the GDT, participants decide how risky they wish to be on each trial. In this particular study prior to playing the GDT, participants were randomly assigned to one of three priming conditions: Risk-Aversive, Risk-Seeking, or Control. In the Risk-Seeking condition, a fictional character benefitted from risky behavior while in the Risk-Aversive condition, a fictional character benefitted from exercising caution. Although not explicitly stated in the instructions, participants need to make “safe” rather than risky choices to optimize performance on the GDT. Participants were also given Daneman and Carpenter’s assessment of working memory task. Interestingly, although older adults self-reported being more cautious than younger adults on the Domain Specific Risk Attitude scale (DOSPERT), older adults made riskier decisions than younger adults on the GDT. However, after controlling for working memory, the age differences on the GDT became insignificant, indicating that working memory mediated the relation between age and risky decisions on the GDT. View Full-Text
Keywords: decision-making; working memory; older adults decision-making; working memory; older adults
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wood, M.; Black, S.; Gilpin, A. The Effects of Age, Priming, and Working Memory on Decision-Making. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 119.

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