Older adults in the U.S. often are faced with complex and stressful health-related decisions that can have profound consequences on their health and longevity. Some of these decisions concern life and death issues. More often decisions reflect everyday choices that come to have cumulative and enduring effects on health. The overall objective of the proposed project is to illuminate the ways that older people make health- related decisions and, more importantly, shed light on ways to improve the quality of the choices they make. It is possible that drawing upon preserved emotional processes during decision-making could somewhat offset age-related weaknesses in cognitive processing.
The specific aims of the proposed studies are to (1) to better understand the impact of emotion, cognition, and motivation on health-related decisions in the context of everyday life, (2) to test whether previously documented age differences in decision-making extend to health- related decisions in relatively unhealthy adults. Study 1 will employ a daily diary design to examine how emotion-related goals impact health-related decisions in the context of daily life. Study 2 will employ an experimental design to examine the decisions of relatively unhealthy older adults. Ultimately, the proposed research may help older adults make more informed decisions with desirable outcomes, guide thinking about advanced directives, and have implications for promoting healthy behavioral choices in day-to-day life.
Ultimately, the proposed research may help older adults make more informed decisions with desirable outcomes, guide thinking about advanced directives, and have implications for promoting healthy behavioral choices in day-to-day life.
|English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L (2014) Selective Narrowing of Social Networks Across Adulthood is Associated With Improved Emotional Experience in Daily Life. Int J Behav Dev 38:195-202|