October 2004-October 2005

Affective Forecasting and Decision Making in Older Adults


Knutson, Brian BW3x4
  • Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

This study seeks to validate a measure of predicted and actual affective experience in a sample of older adults while comparing their ability to predict and recollect affective states with a younger sample. The study will also explore affective responses in the anticipatory and consummatory phases to better understand errors in affective forecasting. Using a monetary incentive delay task, participants will provide self-reports of arousal and valence for anticipation of an incentive and the incentive outcome at three time points: before, during and after. Half of the trials will be self-report while the other half will employ psychophysiological measures of arousal and valence. Overall, it is expected that all participants will overestimate arousal during the anticipatory phase and underestimate arousal for incentives and that older adults will underestimate valence due to increased emotion regulation and will overestimate how positive they felt when recalling the task.

This study is a seed project for the Center on Advancing Decision Making for Aging.