Psychology and Aging Preferences for Choice Across Adulthood: Age Trajectories and Potential Mechanisms

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All participants completed a computerized survey containing a demographics form and the following measures:
Choice preferences were measured using an adapted version of the scale developed in our previous work (Reed et al., 2008, which asks participants how many choices they would prefer (from two to 30 options in increments of four) when making decisions for six everyday domains (apartments, vacations, restaurants, cars,
cellular phones, and jams) and six health-related domains (hospitals, health insurance plans, physicians, hearing aids, prescription drug plans, and nursing homes. The choice preferences measure showed high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) and responses were averaged into a composite measure.
DMSE was measured via a scale adapted from Löckenhoff and
Carstensen (2007) that asks participants to rate their confidence in their ability to make optimal decisions across the same 12 domains listed above using a point Likert-type scale (1

not at all
to 7

extremely confident
). The DMSE measure demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha. To differentiate the role of decision-making self-efficacy from other types of self-efficacy, we also measured participants memory self-efficacy using the Capacity subscale of the Metamemory in
Adulthood Questionnaire (Dixon & Hultsch, 1983), which showed acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha


To measure participants preference accessibility, we asked participants to list the three most important attributes when making decisions in each of the 12 domains (e.g., for decisions among restaurants a relaxing atmosphere, fast service, and a wide variety of entrees, and then rate how easy it was to think of these factors on a point scale (1

very difficult
to 7

very easy
). Internal
Table 1

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