Age differences in the effects of metacognition on financial decision-making
: (Alternative Format Thesis)

  • Chiara Scarampi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Previous literature has acknowledged that ageing is associated with declines in cognitive ability and deliberative processes and predicted that older adults could more likely exhibit decision biases. Hence, older adults could find increasingly challenging the delineation of their financial plan and make inappropriate choices when faced with financial decisions. Accordingly, it seems relevant to investigate the processes that underlie decision-making and can counteract the misleading tendencies that drive people’s behaviour. This project focuses particularly on the relevance of having awareness concerning the way individuals decide and explores how age-related variance in metacognitive abilities impacts upon financial decision-making. This thesis introduces a novel experimental method to investigate metacognition in decision-making tasks and reports the results of a series of empirical studies assessing the age-related effects that metacognition has on financial choice behaviour and risk preferences at the individual level and on strategic interactions at the social level, so as to explore metacognitive processing in simulated real-world decision scenarios. Considering that metacognition can be broken down into subprocesses, this project also aims to ascertain which particular processes are affected by age and which may act as buffers against cognitive decline. This goal is achieved by exploring both self-reported measures on the functioning of these subprocesses and data gathered with the electroencephalography (EEG), directly measuring the neural markers of metacognitive processes. Taken together, the results suggest that metacognition has a crucial role in decision-making. More precisely, the main findings explain under which conditions high metacognitive skills act as moderators of other psychological variables that influence choice behaviour and when social non-cooperative interactions benefit, in terms of wellbeing, from the presence of social metacognitive competences.
Date of Award31 Oct 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorNeal Hinvest (Supervisor) & Richard Fairchild (Supervisor)


  • Ageing
  • Decision making
  • Metacognition

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