Decision-making competence: More than intelligence?

Decision-making competence refers to the ability to make better decisions, as defined by decision-making principles posited by models of rational choice. Historically, psychological research on decision-making has examined how well people follow these principles under carefully manipulated experimental conditions. When individual differences received attention, researchers often assumed that individuals with higher fluid intelligence would perform better. Here, we describe the development and validation of individual-differences measures of decision-making competence. Emerging findings suggest that decision-making competence may tap not only into fluid intelligence but also into motivation, emotion regulation, and experience (or crystallized intelligence). Although fluid intelligence tends to decline with age, older adults may be able to maintain decision-making competence by leveraging age-related improvements in these other skills. We discuss implications for interventions and future research.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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