Decision Making Across the Lifespan

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Research overview

Professor Wandi Bruine de Bruin (Centre for Decision Research) has secured a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (CIG) of 100,000 euro from the European Commission to study how to ‘Improve decision making competence and associated quality of life across the lifespan’. The project aligns with the European Commission’s policy goals, which aim for Europe to be a leader in innovative strategies for improving quality of life across the lifespan.   

With the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, the European Commission aims to attract experienced research talent from outside Europe, and contribute to life-long career development. 

The goal of the project is to study how older adults may maintain the ability to make good life decisions, even in the face of the well-documented age-related cognitive declines that begin around age 20. Professor Bruine de Bruin notes that, “Relatively little is known about how decision making competence changes with age, because most decision research has been conducted with college student samples.”  

Professor Bruine de Bruin believes that there is hope for the ageing decision maker. “The proposed work will build on new insights from behavioural decision research, which suggest that making a decision is more than just a cognitive exercise and also requires good emotion regulation. It will also build on new insights from research on ageing, which suggest that older adults tend to be better than younger adults at regulating their emotions.” Professor Bruine de Bruin will work with her colleagues at the Centre for Decision Research, AgeUK, as well as an international team of decision researchers and ageing specialists. Findings should help to promote decision autonomy and good life decision outcomes in people of all ages.

Professor Bruine de Bruin recently joined the Leeds University Business School with a Leadership Chair in Behavioural Decision Making, and she co-directs the Centre for Decision Research with Dr Barbara Summers. She spent the previous 10 years at Carnegie Mellon University (US), with which she remains affiliated.