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Cognitive aging and the use of recognition in decision making

Pachur, Thorsten and Mata, Rui and Schooler, Lael J.. (2009) Cognitive aging and the use of recognition in decision making. Psychology and Aging, 24 (4). pp. 901-915.

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Abstract

The recognition heuristic, which predicts that a recognized object scores higher on some criterion than an unrecognized one, is a simple inference strategy and thus an attractive mental tool for making inferences with limited cognitive resources—for instance, in old age. In spite of its simplicity, the recognition heuristic might be negatively affected in old age by too much knowledge, inaccurate memory, or deficits in its adaptive use. Across 2 studies, we investigated the impact of cognitive aging on the applicability, accuracy, and adaptive use of the recognition heuristic. Our results show that (a) young and old adults’ recognition knowledge was an equally useful cue for making inferences about the world; (b) as with young adults, old adults adjusted their use of the recognition heuristic between environments with high and low recognition validities; and (c) old adults, however, showed constraints in their ability to adaptively suspend the recognition heuristic on specific items. Measures of fluid intelligence mediated these age-related constraints. The recognition heuristic, which predicts that a recognized object scores higher on some criterion thanan unrecognized one, is a simple inference strategy and thus an attractive mental tool for makinginferences with limited cognitive resources—for instance, in old age. In spite of its simplicity, therecognition heuristic might be negatively affected in old age by too much knowledge, inaccuratememory, or deficits in its adaptive use. Across 2 studies, we investigated the impact of cognitive agingon the applicability, accuracy, and adaptive use of the recognition heuristic. Our results show that (a)young and old adults’ recognition knowledge was an equally useful cue for making inferences about theworld; (b) as with young adults, old adults adjusted their use of the recognition heuristic betweenenvironments with high and low recognition validities; and (c) old adults, however, showed constraintsin their ability to adaptively suspend the recognition heuristic on specific items. Measures of fluidintelligence mediated these age-related constraints.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Hertwig)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Mata)
UniBasel Contributors:Pachur, Thorsten and Mata, Rui
Item Type:Article, refereed
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0882-7974
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:10 Oct 2017 15:21
Deposited On:03 Jan 2017 14:32

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