Bounded rationality, emotions and older adult decision making: Not so fast and yet so frugal

Yaniv Hanoch, Stacey Wood, Thomas Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Herbert Simon’s work on bounded rationality has had little impact on researchers studying older adults’ decision making. This omission is surprising, as human constraints on computation and memory are exacerbated in older adults. The study of older adults’ decision-making processes could benefit from employing a bounded rationality perspective, but any such attempt must take into account the role that emotions play in older adults’ information processing, memory, and attention allocation. This is especially the case because older adults show relatively less decrements in performance when tasks are imbedded in or laden with emotional stimuli, and they exhibit a greater tendency to rely on emotional information. We examine recent work on bounded rationality and studies investigating older adults’ utilization of, and attention to, emotional information, with the aim of creating a framework that captures the mechanisms underlying older adults’ decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-358
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention allocation
  • Bounded rationality
  • Decision making
  • Emotion-laden information
  • memory
  • Older adults


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