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Age differences in risk-taking behaviour: the role of risk preference and cognitive ability

Wolfe, K (2021) Age differences in risk-taking behaviour: the role of risk preference and cognitive ability. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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Previous research examining age differences in decision-making under risk has yielded mixed findings. In some studies, older adults took more risk than younger adults, in other studies these findings were the opposite, and in some studies, there were no age differences at all. These mixed findings may result from a) age differences due to age-related decline in cognitive abilities, and or (b) age differences in risk preference. The aim of this thesis is to provide insight in adult age differences in risk-taking behaviour, specifically concerning the role of cognitive ability and risk preference. The studies reported in this thesis examine risk-taking on a financial in-person behavioural measure (study 1), a financial computerized behavioural measure with multiple levels of complexity (study 2), and risk-taking in a real-life situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic (study 3). The findings of these studies highlight the complexity of age differences in risk-taking, and their dependence on other factors, such as the type of measurements used for risk-taking, cognitive ability and risk preference (studies 1 and 2), and the risk domain (studies 1,2 and 3). It has also contributed other factors beyond cognitive ability and risk preference, such as the importance of risk comprehension (study 1, 2) and risk perception (study 3), and how these factors affect younger and older adults’ risk-taking behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Kelly Wolfe
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 10:41
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 10:41

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