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Advances in Psychological Science    2020, Vol. 28 Issue (6) : 987-993     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00987
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Age differences in intertemporal choice and the mechanism underlying them
YANG Quan1,YIN Shufei1,2(),HU Xing1
1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
2 Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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As the situation of population aging becomes increasingly severe, the intertemporal choice of older adults has attracted increasing attention. However, previous studies on age-related intertemporal choice have reached inconsistent conclusions. Some studies have found that older adults are more willing to wait for future gains than the young, while others suggest that older adults have the same choice preference as the young or are even more eager for short-term gains. This review attempts to explore the effects of age differences on intertemporal choice from the perspective of the processing of time representation and value representation of the elderly. It further elaborates on the impact of cognitive, motivational and emotional factors on this processing so as to clarify the discrepancies in current studies of age-related changes in intertemporal choice.

Keywords intertemporal choice      age differences      life goal      temporal representation      value representation     
ZTFLH:  B849:C91  
Corresponding Authors: Shufei YIN     E-mail:
Issue Date: 22 April 2020
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Quan YANG,Shufei YIN,Xing HU. Age differences in intertemporal choice and the mechanism underlying them[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2020, 28(6): 987-993.
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