The weight of advice in older age

Phoebe E. Bailey*, Natalie C. Ebner, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Joseph R. Phillips, Tarren Leon, Gabrielle Weidemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Seeking advice from others may improve decision-making, particularly in older adults when cognitive decline can impair decision-making. This study measured the extent to which older adults rated the value of advice and used that advice in their decisions. Young (aged 18–37 years; n = 57) and older (aged 62–84 years; n = 56) adults completed a judge-advisor task incorporating advice from an expert and a novice. To capture interindividual differences in ratings of advice value and advice use (i.e., weight of advice), desire for autonomy, working memory, and fluid intelligence were assessed. Relative to young adults, older adults rated novice advice as being more valuable and were more likely to adjust their estimates based on expert and especially novice advice. Among older adults, poorer working memory and reduced preference for autonomous decision-making were associated with greater ratings of the value of novice advice, while better fluid intelligence was associated with increased ratings of the value of expert advice. Overall, older adults give more weight to advice and cognitive decline appears to compromise discrimination of the quality of that advice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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