||Age Differences in Affective Judgment and Preference
||Institute of Cognitive Science
Decisions are rarely made without emotion. Since how we experience emotion changes as our body and mind grows older, our judgment of likes and dislikes may also change with age. The study of age-related changes in affective judgment is critical to the understanding of developmental changes in cognition and psychological adaptation. Three experiments were conducted in this thesis to examine age differences in affective judgments and preferences. Results showed that, in comparison with younger adults, older adults were more likely to avoid making choices leading to potentially negative experiences, to assign greater weight to positive aspect when asked to interpret a situation, and to consider a wider variety of color and shape options in completing abstract configurations. It appeared that people do grow wiser as they grow older, at least in the sense that they become more adapt at choosing what sort of emotional experiences to consume.
Abstract (English) i
Abstract (Chinese) ii
Table of Contents iv
List of Tables vi
List of Figures vii
List of Appendixes viii
Aging and the positivity effect 2
Aging and motivated cognition 3
Aging and decision making 7
The present research 10
Experiment 1 11
Theoretical background 11
Experiment 2 23
Theoretical background 23
Experiment 3 35
Theoretical background 35
General Discussion 47
Bherer, L., Kramer, A.F., Peterson, M.S., Colcombe, S., Erickson, K., & Becic, E. (2005). Training effects on dual task performance: Are there age-related differences in plasticity of attentional control? Psychology and Aging, 20, 695-709.
Bherer, L., Kramer, A.F., Peterson, M.S., Colcombe, S., Erickson, K., & Becic, E. (2006). Testing the limits of cognitive plasticity in older adults: Applications to attentional control. Acta Psychologia, 123, 261-278.
Blanchard-Fields, F., Chen, Y., & Norris, L. (1997). Everyday problem solving across the adult life span: Influence of domain specificity and cognitive appraisal. Psychology and Aging, 12, 684–693.
Blanchard-Fields, F., Stein, R., & Watson, T.L. (2004) Age differences in emotion regulation strategies in handling everyday problems. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 59, 261–269.
Blanchard-Fields, F., Mienaltowski, A., & Seay, R. (2007). Age differences in everyday problem-solving effectiveness: Older adults select more effective strategies for interpersonal problems. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences,62(1), 61-64 .
Braver, T.S., & Barch, D.M. (2002). A theory of cognitive control, aging cognition, and neuromodulation. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 26, 809–817.
Braver, T.S., Reynolds, J.R., & Donaldson, D.I. (2003). Neural mechanisms of transient and sustained cognitive control during task switching. Neuron, 39, 713–726.
Braver, T. S., Satpute, A. B., Rush, B. K., Racine, C. A., & Barch, D. M. (2005). Context processing and context maintenance in healthy aging and early stage dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Psychology & Aging, 20, 33–46.
Carstensen, L.L., Isaacowitz, D.M., & Charles, S.T. (1999). Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54, 165–181.
Carstensen, L. L., Pasupathi, M., Mayr, U., & Nesselroade, J. R. (2000). Emotional experience in everyday life across the adult life span. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 644–655.
Carstensen, L.L., Fung, H., & Charles, S. (2003). Socioemotional selectivity theory and the regulation of emotion in the second half of life. Motivation and Emotion, 27, 103–123.
Charles, S.T., Mather, M., & Carstensen, L. L. (2003). Aging and emotional memory: The forgettable nature of negative images for older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 132, 310–324.
Daffner, K.R., Ryan, K. K., Williams, D.M., Budson, A.E., Rentz, D.M., Wolk, D. A., & Holcomb, P.J. (2006). Increased responsiveness to novelty is associated with successful cognitive aging. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, 1759–1773.
Daffner, K.R.; Chong, H.; Riis, J.; Rentz, D.M.; Wolk, D.A.; Budson, A. E.; Holcomb, P.J. (2007). Cognitive status impacts age-related changes in attention to novel and target events in normal adults. Neuropsychology. 21(3), 291-300.
Diener, E., Lucas, R.E., & Scollon, C.N. (2006). Beyond the hedonic treadmill: Revising the adaptation theory of well-being. American Psychologist,61, 305–314.
Dreisbach, G. (2006). How positive affect modulates cognitive control: The costs and benefits of reduced maintenance capability. Brain and Cognition, 60, 11–19.
Flugstad, A.R., & Windschitl, P.D. (2003). The influence of reasons on interpretations of probability forecasts. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 16, 107-126.
Fredrickson, B.L., & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition & Emotion,19, 313–332.
Gaeta, H., Friedman, D., Ritter, W., & Cheng, J. (2001). An eventrelated potential evaluation of involuntary attentional shifts in young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 16, 55–68.
Grhn, D., Smith, J., & Baltes, P.B. (2005). No aging bias favoring memory for positive material: Evidence from a heterogeneity–homogeneity list paradigm using emotionally toned words. Psychology and Aging, 20, 579–588.
Grhn, D., Scheibe, S., & Baltes, P.B. (2007). Reduced negativity effect in older adults’ memory for emotional pictures: the heterogeneity-homogeneity list paradigm. Psychology and Aging, 22(3), 644-649.
Hahn, S., Andersen, G.J., & Kramer, A.F. (2004). Age influences on multi-dimensional set switching. Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition, 11(1), 25-36.
Hess, T.M., Germain, C.M., Swaim, E.L., & Osowski, N.L. (2009). Aging and selective engagement: The moderating impact of motivation on older adults' resource utilization. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, April 7, 2009, DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbp020.
Hirt, E.R., Devers, E.E., & McCrea, S.M. (2008). I want to be creative: Exploring the role of hedonic contingency theory in the positive mood–cognitive flexibility link. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 214–230.
Hugenschmidt, C.E., Mozolic, J.L., & Laurienti, P.J. (2009). Suppresion of multisensory integration by modality-specific attention in aging. Neurorepot, 20(4), 349-353.
Kahneman, D. (2003). A perspective on judgment and choice: Mapping bounded rationality. American Psychologist, 58, 697–720.
Kahneman, D. and Frederick, S. (2005). A model of heuristic judgment. In K. J. Holyoak and R. G. Morrison (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. NY: Cambridge University Press.
Kennedy, Q., Mather, M., & Carstensen, L.L. (2004). The role of motivation in the age-related positivity effect in autobiographical memory. Psychological Science, 15, 208–214.
Kensinger, E.A., Piguet, O., Krendl, A.C., & Corkin, S. (2005). Memory for contextual details: Effects of emotion and ageing. Psychology and Ageing, 20(2), 241-250.
Kensinger, E.A., O’Brien, J., Swanberg, K., Garoff-Eaton, R.J., & Schacter, D.L. (2007). The effects of emotional content on reality-monitoring performance in young and older adults. Psychology and Ageing, 22(4), 752-764.
Kensinger, E.A. (2008). Age differences in memory for arousing and nonarousing emotional words. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 63(1), 13-18.
Kensinger, E.A. (2009). How emotion affects older adults’ memories for event details. Memory, 17(2), 208 – 219.
Kim, S., & Hasher, L. (2005). The attraction effect in decision making: Superior performance by older adults. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58A, 120–133.
King, L. A., & Hicks, J. A. (2007). Whatever happened to “what might have been”? Regrets, happiness, and maturity. American Psychologist, 62 (7), 625-636.
Knight, M., Seymour, T.L., Gaunt, J.T., Baker, C., Nesmith, K., & Mather, M. (2007). Aging and goal-directed emotional attention: Distraction reverses emotional biases. Emotion, 7, 705 – 714.
Kramer, A.F., Hahn, S., & Gopher, D. (1999). Task coordination and aging: explorations of executive control processes in the task switching paradigm. Acta Psychologica, 101, 339–378.
Labouvie-Vief, G., Diehl, M., Jain, E., & Zhang, F. (2007). Six-year change in affect optimization and affect complexity across the adult life span: A further examination. Psychology and Aging, 22, 738–751.
Laurienti P.J., Burdette J.H., Maldjian J.A., Wallace M.T. (2006). Enhanced multisensory integration in older adults. Neurobiol Aging 27, 1155–1163.
Leclerc, C.M., & Kensinger, E.A. (2008). Effects of age on detection of emotional information. Psychology and Aging, 23(1), 209-215
Lerner, J.S., & Keltner, D. (2000). Beyond valence: toward a model of emotion-specific influences on judgment and choice. Cognition and Emotion, 14(4), 473–493.
Lerner, J.S., & Tiedens, L.Z. (2006). Portrait of the angry decision maker: How appraisal tendencies shape anger’s influence on cognition. Journal of Behavioral and Decision Making, 19, 115-137.
Liang, K.Y., and Zeger, S.L. (1986). Longitudinal data analysis using generalized linear models. Biometrika, 73, 13–22.
Lindenberger, U., Marsiske, M., Baltes, P.B. (2000). Memorizing while walking: Increase in dual-task costs from young adulthood to old age. Psychology and Aging 15(3), 417-436.
Lipsitz, L.A., Goldberger, A.L. (1992). Loss of complexity and aging: potential applications of fractals and chaos theory to senescence. Journal of the American Medical Association, 267, 1806–1809.
Mata, R., Schooler, L., & Rieskamp, J. (2007). The aging decision maker: Cognitive aging and the adaptive selection of decision strategies. Psychology & Aging, 22(4), 796–810.
Mather, M., & Carstensen, L.L. (2003). Aging and attentional biases for emotional faces. Psychological Science, 14, 409–415.
Mather, M., Canli, T., English, T., Whitfield, S., Wais, P., Ochsner, K., Gabrieli, J.D.E. & Carstensen, L.L. (2004). Amygdala responses to emotionally valenced stimuli in older and younger adults. Psychological Science, 15, 259–263.
Mather, M., & Knight, M. (2005). Goal-directed memory: The role of cognitive control in older adults’ emotional memory. Psychology and Aging, 20, 554–570.
Mednick, S. A. (1962). The associative basis of the creative process. Psychological Review, 69, 220–232.
Mikels, J. A.;Reed, A. E.; & Simon, K. I. (2009). Older adults place lower value on choice relative to younger adults. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, April 7, DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbp021
Nielson, K. A., Langenecker, S. A., and Garavan, H. P. 2002. Differences in the functional neuroanatomy of inhibitory control across the adult lifespan. Psychology and Aging 17(1), 56–71.
Novak, D.L., & Mather, M. (2007). Aging and variety seeking. Psychology and Aging, 22(4), 738–737.
Ong, A.D. & Bergeman, C.S. (2004). The complexity of emotions in later life. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 59, 117–P122.
Peters, E., Hess, T.M., Vstfjll, D., & Auman, C. (2007). Adult age differences in dual information processes: Implications for the role of affective and deliberative processes in older adults’ decision making. Perspectives on Psychological Science 2(1), 1-23.
Reed, A.E.; Mikels, J.A.; & Simon, K.I. (2008). Older adults prefer less choice than young adults. Psychology and Aging, 23(3), 671-675.
Ryan, J.D., Shen, J., & Reingold, E.M. (2006). Modulation of distraction in aging. British Journal of Psychology, 97, 339–351.
Sloman, S. A. (1996). The empirical case for two systems of reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 3–22.
Smith, C.A., & Ellsworth, P.C. (1985). Patterns of cognitive appraisal in emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 813- 838.
Smith, C.A. & Lazarus, R.S. (1993). Appraisal components, core relational themes, and the emotions, Cognition & Emotion, 7, 233-269.
Stanovich, K.E., & West, R.F. (2002). Individual differences in reasoning: Implications for the rationality debate? In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment (pp. 421–440). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Tentori, K., Osherson, D., Hasher, L., May, C. (2001) Wisdom and aging: Irrational preferences in college students but not older adults. Cognition 81(3), 87–96.
Tiedens, L.Z., & Linton, S. (2001). Judgment under emotional certainty and uncertainty: the effects of specific emotions on information processing. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 81, 973–988.
Weisz, J., & Czigler, I. (2006). Age and novelty: event-related brain potentials and autonomic activity. Psychophysiology, 43(3), 261-271.
Wilson, T.D., & Gilbert, D.T. (2008). Explaining away: A model of affective adaptation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 370–386.
Windschitl, P.D., &Weber, E.U. (1999). The interpretation of ‘likely’ depends on the context, but ‘70%’ is 70%—right? The influence of associative processes on perceived certainty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 25, 1514–1533.
Windschitl, P.D., Martin, R., & Flugstad, A.R. (2002). Context and the interpretation of likelihood information: The role of intergroup comparisons on perceived vulnerability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 742–755.
Wood, S., & Kisley, M.A. (2006). The negativity bias is eliminated in older adults: Age-related reduction in event-related brain potentials associated with evaluative categorization. Psychology and Aging, 21, 815–820.