Decision processes among the elderly: do they differ?

by Jacqueline D. Goodchilds, Tora K. Bikson

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Decisionmaking processes among older adults were investigated within the context of grocery selection, using a stimulus array involving two product classes (bread and cheese) with 10 items per class. The sample (N = 580) was stratified by sex, household status (living alone or with spouse), and age, employing three age groupings: 25-34 (young), 65-74 (younger-old), and 75 and up (older-old). Paired similarity comparisons, attribute ratings, and preference rankings of products were obtained, as well as reactions to the decision task. Analyses of the data for group differences suggest that product decision processes do not appear to differ by age. Rather, result patterns show that the two product classes evoke very different responses, with bread choices more predictable and cheese choices both more variable and more important to subjects.

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