Metacognitive training promotes decision-making ability in older adults

  • Date:
  • Time: 14:00-15:00
  • Location: Charles Thackrah 1.05
  • Speaker: Alessia Rosi
  • Who can attend: Staff, students, alumni and external guests


Research on decision making and aging has shown that some decision-making skills decrease with age. Despite these age-related declines, no study has yet investigated the possibility of promoting improvements in decision-making skills in older adults. The present study was designed to address this gap  in  literature  by  examining  the  efficacy  of  a  metacognitive-strategy  decision-making  training  on  practiced and non-practiced tasks. The training was based on the use of specific metacognitive principles and analytical strategies for promoting an analytical mode of thinking in the decision-making process. We  examined  66  older  adults  (Mage=  67.52  years,  SD  =  5.38;  age  range  60-81)  assigned  to  two  training  groups: a metacognitive-strategy decision-making training group and an active control group involved in a strategic memory intervention. Both training groups attended four 2-hour training sessions conducted once a week. Results showed that, after intervention, the decision-making training group improved their decision-making  skills  significantly  more  than  the  active  control  training  group. Crucially, the positive effect of the training was evident in both practiced and non-practiced decision-making tasks. This is the first study investigating the efficacy of a decision-making training in older adults based on metacognitive and strategic principles.



Alessia Rosi is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Pavia (Italy). She received the PhD in psychology and her research is in the field of psychology of normal and pathological aging. In particular, her research focuses on the analysis of cognitive, affective and emotional processes influencing decision-making in aging, and how to improve decision-making competence in older adults. Other specific research interests include the study of age differences in prosocial ability and the relationship between Theory of Mind and decision-making process in aging