Aging and decision making: Driving-related problem solving

Neff Walker, W. Bradley Fain, Arthur D. Fisk, Christy L. McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We examined age-related effects on decision making in a task environment familiar to most younger and older adults. Participants made route-selection decisions in real time. Participants received information about traffic density and expected speed limits of main and alternative routes, from which they determined the optimality of their present route versus alternative routes. The experiment evaluated the effects of information type, amount of congestion, alternative route speed limit, and age on speed and quality of decision making. Measures of optimal route selection revealed main effects of alternative route speed limit, congestion level, and message type, but there was not a main effect of age, and age did not interact with any variable. In terms of decision speed (but not quality of decision making), older participants were slower, and age interacted with alternative route speed and with message type. The data are interpreted in relation to previous data examining everyday problem solving and aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-444
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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