Individual differences in decision-making: evidence for the scarcity hypothesis from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing


We report the results of a pre-registered analysis of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing that was designed to test the hypothesis that economic scarcity is associated with individual differences in decision-making. We tested this hypothesis by comparing time preferences for different socio-economic groups and in geographical areas ranging from the most deprived to the least deprived in England using the English indices of multiple deprivation. The data supported this hypothesis: people in the most deprived areas were more likely to prefer smaller-sooner rewards than people from the least deprived areas. Similarly, people in technical or routine occupations tended to prefer smaller-sooner rewards than people in professional or intermediate occupations. In addition, we found that gender, cognitive function and subjective social status also predicted time preferences. We discuss these results in the context of theoretical models of scarcity-based models of choice behaviour and decision-making.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology and cognitive neuroscience,Research articles,impulsivity,socio-economic classification,indices of multiple deprivation,scarcity
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 07:17
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2022 14:08
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Related URLs: https://royalso ... 098/rsos.220102 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-10
Published Online Date: 2022-10-26
Accepted Date: 2022-09-07
Submitted Date: 2022-02-03
Authors: Tunney, Richard J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)
James, Richard J. E.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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