What is it about?

The way information is formatted as well as personal preferences for receiving either verbatim details such as “$10“ or gist statements such as “very good“ or “poor“ influence age differences in the search for decision-relevant information: Older adults review more total pieces of information when it is presented in a gist format, whereas younger adults review a higher proportion of original pieces of information when it is presented in a verbatim format. For both younger and older adults, gist information such as "very good" or "poor" is associated with searching for information by choice options rather than by choice attributes. Reviewing gist information is also linked to making choices that are more closely aligned with one's personal choice preferences. At the same time, verbatim details such as "$10" lead to higher levels of choice satisfaction and are easier to recall correctly.

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Why is it important?

Our findings suggest that age differences in decision making can be reduced by fine tuning the way that information is presented.

Perspectives

This paper is the first in a pipeline of collaborations with a brilliant graduate student, Julia Nolte, in which we examine different aspects aging and decision making. I am excited to finally see it in print.

Corinna Loeckenhoff
Cornell University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The influence of verbatim versus gist formatting on younger and older adults’ information acquisition and decision-making., Psychology and Aging, March 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/pag0000676.
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