“Great success can be derived from the unquenchable desire to grow, mature, and improve when people are doing things they are passionate about”.
“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young”.
Wisdom really does come with age, according to a study which shows older people make better decisions than young adults who are too impulsive.
Two experiments designed to mirror realistic decision making scenarios showed that older people were far better at making choices that led to long-term gain.
While university-age participants were quicker to make choices which led to immediate rewards, another group aged 60 to 80 were much more adept at taking strategic decisions which took future stages into account.
Previous studies had indicated that our ability to make decisions declines as we get older, but these had focused on people’s capacity to make choices one at a time.
Psychologists from the University of Texas, believing these tests to be biased against older brains, came up with a new series of trials requiring participants to weigh up each decision while considering how it would affect future choices, as we do in the real world.
The findings, to be published that older people’s wisdom helped them outperform younger participants at taking the bigger picture into account.
Dr Darrell Worthy, who led the study, said: “We found that older adults are better at evaluating the immediate and delayed benefits of each option they choose from.
“The younger adults were better when only the immediate rewards needed to be considered, but the second experiment required developing a theory about how rewards in the environment were structured. The more experience you have in this, the better you are better at it.”
The researchers suggested this could be because younger people make choices using a part of the brain called the ventral striatum which is linked to immediate rewards.
As this declines with age, older people are forced to compensate by using their prefrontal cortices, which control rational and deliberate thoughts, they said.>