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Two experiments used the discounting paradigm to investigate the effect of age on how individuals value technology and technology-related learning. Previous literature has shown that older adults display a lower monetary discount rate than younger adults. It was hypothesized that this trend would be reversed in the current study due to older adults' increased costs associated with technology-related learning as well as lower perceptions of value for technology related rewards when compared to younger adults. Both experiments used technology-related measures based on the format of the Monetary Choice Questionnaire to determine individual discount rate. In Experiment 1, 37 older (mean age = 72.9) and 39 younger (mean age = 18.8) adults completed the MCQ and two devised technology-related measures. Previous findings for age and monetary discount rate were replicated but there was no significant difference in discount rate between age groups for the devised technology-related measures. In Experiment 2, 40 older (mean age = 74.9) and 40 younger (mean age = 20.2) adults completed six devised discounting measures. Older adults displayed a significantly higher discount rate for four out of six discounting measures, including three out of four technology-related measures. Implications for older adults and technology adoption are discussed.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Includes bibliographical references.
Neil Charness, Professor Directing Thesis; Walter R. Boot, Committee Member; Joyce Ehrlinger, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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