Decision-Making Across the Life Span


Characterizing behavioral changes in decision-making across the life span and understanding why they occur has significant implications for behavioral problems associated with poor decision-making at different stages of life – such as careless driving in adolescents and disadvantageous medical or financial decision-making in the elderly. Scientists in many disciplines have long observed that age seems to be a significant determinant of decision-making under risk and ambiguity. There has, however, been significant disagreement about how and why preferences toward risk and ambiguity change with age. The goal of this project is to provide a comprehensive study of decision-making in a population that ranges in age from 12 to 90 years old using both behavioral and fMRI research techniques.