ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (5): 858-870.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00858

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The Elderly Decision Making: The Current Situations and Challenges of the Field

ZHANG Liyuan1; BI Yanling1; ZHANG Baoshan1; CHEN Lu2   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710062, China) (2 School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2014-05-24 Online:2015-05-15 Published:2015-05-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Baoshan, E-mail:


Decision making in elderly people can be characterized in different areas by the following features: limitation of predecisional information search in consumer decision, risk-avoiding in risky choice situations, diminished sensitivity to the framing effect in medical decision-making, and some advantage based on richer relevant experience in everyday problem-solving. In general, for some decision-making tasks, older adults perform worse than younger adults, whereas they do better or at least as well as younger adults in some other tasks. The validity of elderly decision-making is mainly influenced by the interaction of cognitive aspects, emotional factors and task characteristics, and is in agreement with the person–context fit framework. For future studies, in addition to further clarification of the characteristics of decision makers’ performance in different areas and solving current issues about decision qualities and strategies, we should also pay more attention to the influence of variables related to individual characteristics, decision-making strategies, and cross-cultural factors. Further research on cognitive and neural mechanisms should be strengthened.

Key words: elderly, decision making, decision making area, individual characteristics, contextual