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Health study finds we make better decisions as we age

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And now for some good news about aging. 

MetLife Mature Market Institute and the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas released study results in December that indicate that mentally fit participants in their 70s were more organized, conscientious and better at considering multiple options than people in their 50s.  Previous studies had indicated that people’s cognitive abilities declined with age but when the researchers controlled for cognitive impairment in this study, the reassuring results were that as we age, age alone is not a key factor for predicting our ability to make good decisions.

The researchers studied strategic decision making in healthy adults in their 50s, 60s and 70s and found that overall the oldest participant group slightly surpassed the other aged groups.  Based on their research, the group recommended that “policies aimed at protecting those most vulnerable to poor decision-making should focus on impairment caused by an underlying medical condition, rather than age itself as a risk factor,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

Key study findings include:

  • Healthy aging adults show no decline in decision-making;
  • Strategic learning capacity may actually increase with age;
  • Strategic learners are less likely to fall victim to bias toward riskier options;
  • Conscientious decision-making intensifies with age
  • Risk tolerances can be linked to cognitive ability
  • There were differences between men and women in the relationship between decision making and traditional measures of cognitive function

You can find the study here.  If you are metamorphosing into one of those strategic thinking, risk averse, highly cognitive individuals, isn’t it time you demonstrated your newfound skills by getting your LifePlan in place? If you already have your LifePlan in place, congratulations.  I bet they had people just like you in the study.

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