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Preferences for Temporal Sequences of Real Outcomes Differ Across Domains but do not Vary by Age


Löckenhoff, Corinna E; Rutt, Joshua L; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R; O'Donoghue, Ted; Reyna, Valerie F (2017). Preferences for Temporal Sequences of Real Outcomes Differ Across Domains but do not Vary by Age. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Objectives: People's preferences for temporal sequences of events have implications for life-long health and well-being. Prior research suggests that other aspects of intertemporal choice vary by age, but evidence for age differences in sequence-preferences is limited and inconclusive. In response, the present research examined age differences in sequence-preferences for real outcomes administered in a controlled laboratory setting.

Methods: A pilot study examined sequence-preferences for aversive electrodermal shocks in 30 younger and 30 older adults. The main study examined sequence-preferences for electrodermal shocks, physical effort, and monetary gambles in an adult life-span sample (N = 120). It also examined emotional and physiological responses to sequences as well as underlying mechanisms including time perception and emotion-regulation.

Results: There were no significant age differences in sequence-preferences in either of the studies, and there were no age differences in responses to sequences in the main study. Instead, there was a domain effect with participants preferring decreasing sequences for shocks and mixed sequences for effort and money.

Discussion: After considering potential methodological limitations, theoretical contributions and implications for real-life decisions are discussed.

Abstract

Objectives: People's preferences for temporal sequences of events have implications for life-long health and well-being. Prior research suggests that other aspects of intertemporal choice vary by age, but evidence for age differences in sequence-preferences is limited and inconclusive. In response, the present research examined age differences in sequence-preferences for real outcomes administered in a controlled laboratory setting.

Methods: A pilot study examined sequence-preferences for aversive electrodermal shocks in 30 younger and 30 older adults. The main study examined sequence-preferences for electrodermal shocks, physical effort, and monetary gambles in an adult life-span sample (N = 120). It also examined emotional and physiological responses to sequences as well as underlying mechanisms including time perception and emotion-regulation.

Results: There were no significant age differences in sequence-preferences in either of the studies, and there were no age differences in responses to sequences in the main study. Instead, there was a domain effect with participants preferring decreasing sequences for shocks and mixed sequences for effort and money.

Discussion: After considering potential methodological limitations, theoretical contributions and implications for real-life decisions are discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:8 July 2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 10:01
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:30
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1079-5014
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbx094
PubMed ID:28977554

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