(Photo:Flickr/little sourire)

Though the adage “wisdom comes with age” might sound a little trite, researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin found that it’s actually true, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The researchers looked at the decision-making habits of younger and older adults for the study, which will soon be published in Psychological Science. They found that the older participants made their decisions based on experience, whereas the younger ones typically based theirs off instant gratification.

Researcher Darrell Worthy told the paper that the experiment they used had two variants. The participants performed tasks where the choices they made influenced what rewards were available in the future; these decision-making tasks, Worthy said, had two options, and each option differently affected the rewards available in future trials.

“What we found was that between those two situations, younger adults performed about the same, so they selected both options equally,” Worthy said. “However, older adults tended to figure out which one — the increasing option or decreasing option — was better in each situation, so they performed better in both of those tasks.”

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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