Improving decision-making competence and associated quality of life across the lifespan

Image of a brain scan

Description

Across the life span, people face decisions about their health, finances and well-being. People of all ages therefore need good decision-making competence, referring to the ability to avoid decision biases and to obtain desired life outcomes. Research on aging and decision-making competence is still relatively sparse. However, it has been suggested that aging-related declines in fluid cognitive abilities start around age 20, potentially threatening the quality of older adults’ decisions. However, decision making is not a purely cognitive exercise. This project aims to understand which (other) skills are relevant to the development of decision-making competence and associated quality of life across the life span, and to inform interventions that help people of all ages to make better decisions.

For further information, read this article in The Independent.

This video shows Wändi Bruine de Bruin presenting at the APS pre-conference workshop in May 2016. The workshop focused on advancing discussions in emerging areas of psychological science in aging.

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Impact

Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin discussed decision making and the 'sunk cost fallacy' on The BBC World Service’s “The Why Factor”, which was broadcast on 6 May 2019.

Photograph of Wändi Bruine de Bruin delivering a keynote lecture

Publications and outputs

Project website at the European Commission: http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/109629_en.html

Publications list

Copies of publications are available upon request from Wändi Bruine de Bruin 

  1. Bruine de Bruin, W., van Putten, M., van Emden, R., & Strough, J. (2018). Age differences in emotional responses to monetary losses and gains. Psychology and Aging, 33, 413-418[link to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29446970]
  2. Eberhardt, W., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Strough, J. (2019). Age differences in financial decision making: The benefits of more experience and less negative emotions.  Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 32, 79-93. [link to https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bdm.2097]
  3. McNair, S., Okan, Y., Hadjichristidis, K., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2019). Age differences in moral judgment: Older adults are more deontological than younger adults. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 32, 47-60. [link to https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bdm.2086]
  4. Parker, A.M., Bruine de Bruin, W., Fischhoff, B., & Weller, J. (2018). Robustness of Adult Decision-Making Competence: Evidence from two measures and an 11-year longitudinal study. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 31, 380-391. [link to https://www.cmu.edu/epp/people/faculty/research/Fischoff-JBDM-Parker-etal-Longitudinal.pdf]
  5. Rosi, A., Bruine de Bruin, W., Del Missier, F., Cavallini, E., & Russo, R. (2019). Decision-making competence in older and younger adults: Which cognitive abilities contribute to the application of decision rules? Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, 26, 174-189. [link to https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13825585.2017.1418283?casa_token=CcqSeblUDA4AAAAA:qOoMY-cq44BqwaIeuVWrTxoQClc00Ls9cYlNffboKv3UI5XyG-xi-ysHqE_Al1IHfeqDuoxvIQ]
  6. Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Parker, A.M. (in press). Taking the biggest first: Age differences in preferences for monetary and hedonic sequences. The Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. [link to http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/124099/]
  7. Strough, J., Parker, A.M., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2019). Restricting future time perspective reduces failure to act after a missed opportunity. Psychology and Aging, 34, 311-316. [link to https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-53426-001]
  8. Bruine de Bruin, W. (2017). Aging and competence in decision making. In: Mitchell, O.S., Hammond, P.B., & Utkus, S.P. Financial decision making and retirement security in an aging world. Pension Research Council: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. (pp. 15-32). [Book]
  9. Bruine de Bruin, W. (2018). Aging and economic decision making. In: R. Ranyard (Ed.) Economic Psychology. British Psychological Society Textbook series. Wiley-Blackwell (pp. 371-380). [Book]
  10. Bruine de Bruin, W., Dombrovski, A.Y., Parker, A.M., Szanto, K. (2016). Late life depression, suicidal ideation, and attempted suicide: The role of individual differences in maximizing, regret, and negative decision outcomes. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 29,363-371. [abstract]
  11. Bruine de Bruin, W., & Fischhoff, B. (2017). Eliciting probabilistic expectations: Collaborations between psychologists and economists. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, 3297–3304[abstract] [PDF]
  12. Bruine de Bruin, W., McNair, S., Taylor, A.L., Summers, B., & Strough, J. (2015). ‘Thinking about numbers is not my idea of fun’: Need for cognition mediates age differences in numeracy performance. Medical Decision Making. 35, 22-26. [abstract][PDF]
  13. Bruine de Bruin, W., & Parker, A.M. (2017). Individual differences in decision-making competence in different age groups. In: M.E. Toplak, & J. Weller (Eds.) Individual Differences in Judgement and Decision Making: A Developmental Perspective. New York, NY: Routledge (pp. 127-146). [book]
  14. Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., & Fischhoff, B. (2015). Individual differences in decision-making competence across the lifespan. [Book chapter] In E.A. Wilhelms, & V.F. Reyna (Eds.), Neuroeconomics, Judgment, and Decision Making. New York, NY: Psychology Press (pp. 219-236). [book]
  15. Bruine de Bruin, W., Strough, J., & Parker, A.M. (2014). Getting older isn’t all that bad: Better decisions and coping when facing ’sunk costs.’ Psychology and Aging, 29, 642-647[abstract][PDF]
  16. Delaney, R., Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Parker, A. (2015). Variations in decision-making profiles by age and gender: A cluster-analytic approach. Personality and Individual Differences, 85, 19-24. [abstract] [PDF]
  17. Del Missier, F., Hansson, P., Parker, A.M., Bruine de Bruin, W., Nilsson, L.G., & Mäntylä, T (2017). Unraveling the aging skein: Disentangling the effects of sensory and cognitive predictors on decision making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30, 123-139.[abstract]
  18. Parker, A.M., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Fischhoff, B. (2015). Negative decision outcomes are more common among people with lower decision-making competence: An item-level analysis of the Decision Outcome Inventory (DOI). Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1-7. [abstract
  19. Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., Karns, T., Lemaster, P., Pichayayothin, N., Delaney, R., & Stoiko, R. (2016). What were they thinking? Reducing sunk-cost bias in a life-span sample. Psychology and Aging, 31, 724-736. [abstract] [PDF]
  20. Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., Lemaster, P., Pichayayothin, N., & Delaney, R. (2016). Hour glass half-full or half-empty? Future time perspective and preoccupation with negative events across the life span. Psychology and Aging, 31, 558-573. [abstract] [PDF]
  21. Strough, J., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Peters, E. (2015). New perspectives on motivating better decisions in older adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1-10. [abstract] [PDF]
  22. Strough, J., Parker, A.M., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2015). Understanding life-span developmental changes in decision-making competence. In T. Hess, J. Strough, & C. Löckenhoff (Eds.) Aging and decision making: Empirical and applied perspectives. London UK: Elsevier Academic Press (pp. 235-257). [book]
  23. Szanto, K., Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A.M., Hallquist, M.N., Vanyukov, P.M., & Dombrovski, A.Y. (2015). Decision-making competence and attempted suicide. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 76, 1590-1597

 

EU FlagThis research was supported by Marie Curie Career Integration Grant 618522 within the 7th European Community Framework Programme