Personal and general beliefs about decision-making in young, middle-age and older adults.

Alessia Rosi, Elena Cavallini, Paola Iannello, Alessandro Antonietti, C Hertzog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Several studies showed that people, and in particular older adults, tend to have negative beliefs about the effect of age on a wide variety of cognitive abilities, such as intelligence, general competence, and memory. Despite growing interest in decision-making ability in aging, no studies have examined age differences in beliefs about decision making. To fill this gap in literature, we investigated both beliefs about one’s decision-making competence (personal beliefs) and beliefs about the effect of aging on decision-making competence in general population (general beliefs) by comparing three age groups: young (age range 20-30), middle-age (age range 50-64), and older adults (age range 65-85). Two questionnaires on general and personal beliefs about decision-making (adapted from the Personal Beliefs about Memory and General Beliefs about Memory Instruments, Lineweaver & Hertzog, 1998) and a decision-making task were administered to participants. The three age groups differed in terms of decision-making performance, with older adults performed worse than middle-age and young adults. Results for the personal beliefs about decision-making indicated that older adults believed in more retrospective changes than middle-age and young adults. For prospective changes, young adults, compared to middle-age and older adults, reported improvement in decision-making ability over the next 10 years. Older and middle-age adults reported lower levels of control over decision-making ability than young adults. Regarding the general beliefs about decision making, participants of the three age groups believed in an improvement from age 20 to age 40 and in a decline from age 50. The pattern emerged from this analysis is an inverted U-shape. The present study is the first to explore age differences in both general and personal beliefs about decision-making competence and may contribute to improve knowledge about this ability in aging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognitive Aging Conference 2018. Poster Abstract
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventCognitive Aging Conference - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: 3 May 20186 May 2018


ConferenceCognitive Aging Conference
CityAtlanta, GA, USA


  • Decision-making
  • Elderly
  • general beliefs
  • personal beliefs


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