Understanding Our Behavior As We Age: Effects of Memory and Time Horizons on Beliefs, Preferences, and Choices

Session Chair: Ian Skurnik, University of Toronto
Discussion Leader: Cathy Cole, University of Iowa

Session name:

Understanding Our Behavior as We Age: Effects of Memory and Time Horizons on Beliefs, Preferences, and Choices


First paper:

Title: Educating Older Adults About the Flu Can Reduce Their Intentions to Get a Vaccination


Authors: Ian Skurnik (University of Toronto), Carolyn Yoon (University of Michigan), and Nobert Schwarz (University of Michigan)


Short abstract: Many health providers and government agencies publish information to help educate the public about health issues.  Some of these publications explain “facts and myths” about a particular health concern, in an effort to clear up potential misconceptions about medical treatment.  We found that older adults tended to misremember myths as facts soon after having read such publications, which, paradoxically, left them with lower intentions to get a flu vaccine than people who did not read any information about the flu.  We recommend ways to warn people about false information so they are less likely to misremember it as true.



Second paper:

Title: Age Differences in Consumer Decision Making


Authors: Sanjay Sood (UCLA), Loraine Lau-Gesk (University of California, Irvine), and Aimee Drolet (UCLA)


Short abstract: Are older consumers wiser consumers? Two experiments show that some of the 'gestalt' features of event sequences identified by psychologists, such as peak-end preference, may have differing influence on the judgments of older and younger people. A third experiment demonstrates age-related differences in adherence to a rule that governs preferences for sequences of events. These results are discussed in light of much research showing that, as consumers age, their cognitive ability declines. However, the effects of this cognitive decline on decision-making vary considerably.



Third paper:

Title: Modeling Long-Term Determinants of Brand Choice by Older Consumers


Authors: Raphaëlle Lambert-Pandraud (Négocia) and Gilles Laurent (HEC School of Management)


Short abstract: Different theoretical perspectives (Nostalgia, Socioemotional Selectivity) both lead to predict a higher relative preference of older consumers for long-established brands.  However, Nostalgia predicts an attachment to brands first encountered when the consumer was young, while, according to Socioemotional Selectivity,  an attachment can be built at any age. We compare the predictions of these two perspectives against actual brand choices observed in a large sample (n=148,537) of female perfume users. The comparison is done first on the basis of qualitative characteristics predicted by simple analytical models; then, through the statistical test of a conditional logit model.
[ to cite ]:
Session Chair: Ian Skurnik and Discussion Leader: Cathy Cole (2006) ,"Understanding Our Behavior As We Age: Effects of Memory and Time Horizons on Beliefs, Preferences, and Choices", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 150-153.