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Study: Aging May Not Dull Decision Making Skills

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(Getty Images)

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RIVERSIDE, Ca. (CBS Sacramento) – Perhaps older really is wiser. 
A new study suggests seniors can be better than young adults at making financial decisions, a phenomenon attributed to the wealth of knowledge seniors have learned over the years.
Researchers asked older and younger subjects alike a variety of financial and math questions. Lead study author Ye Li, an assistant professor of management at the University of California, Riverside, said the results give age a slight edge over youth.
He added, “Our older participants showed equal or better decision performance than our younger participants, exhibiting greater patience intemporal discounting and better financial and debt literacy.”
“It’s great news for all of us with grey hair,” Paul Zak told US News and World Report. He’s the chairman of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University.
Zak additionally told the paper the results offer a counter-balance to a public perception that decision making is hindered as we grow older.
The downside is that seniors may not have an edge when making novel financial decisions, like how to invest a 401k. But study authors say being able to draw upon experience can make up for slower cognitive function.
The study appears in the September issue of the journal Psychology and Aging.
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