chapter  3
20 Pages

Motivated Cognition and Curiosity in the Aging Consumer 1

WithMary B. Hargis, Mary C. Whatley, Alexander L. M. Siegel, Alan D. Castel

We consider what motivates younger and older people to learn new information and skills through the lens of multiple theories of cognitive aging.

After discussing knowledge, emotion, and control as motivating factors, we examine the roles of curiosity and interest in motivated cognition, suggesting that curiosity may not always benefit older consumers. We also examine older adults’ perceptions of risk, gains, and losses, and how those perceptions may affect consumer behavior.

Last, we consider applications of the research discussed. Specifically, we discuss: (1) older adults’ perceptions about and use of so-called “brain training” techniques; (2) how age-related changes may affect novelty-seeking; and (3) how situations that induce stereotype threat and anxiety may also motivate older adults’ cognition differently from that of younger adults.