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Gender-Specific Differences in the Relationship between Autobiographical Memory and Intertemporal Choice in Older Adults.

Seinstra M, Grzymek K, Kalenscher T - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Research on the effects of aging on intertemporal decisions shows inconsistent, often opposing results, indicating that yet unexplored factors might play an essential role in guiding one's choices.We found no clear evidence for a relationship between episodic memory performance and delay discounting in older adults.However, when additionally considering gender differences, we found an interaction effect of gender and autobiographical memory on delay discounting: while men with higher memory scores showed less delay discounting, women with higher memory scores tended to discount the future more.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Comparative Psychology, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

ABSTRACT
As the population of older adults grows, their economic choices will have increasing impact on society. Research on the effects of aging on intertemporal decisions shows inconsistent, often opposing results, indicating that yet unexplored factors might play an essential role in guiding one's choices. Recent studies suggest that episodic future thinking, which is based on the same neural network involved in episodic memory functions, leads to reductions in discounting of future rewards. As episodic memory functioning declines with normal aging, but to greatly variable degrees, individual differences in delay discounting might be due to individual differences in the vitality of this memory system in older adults. We investigated this hypothesis, using a sample of healthy older adults who completed an intertemporal choice task as well as two episodic memory tasks. We found no clear evidence for a relationship between episodic memory performance and delay discounting in older adults. However, when additionally considering gender differences, we found an interaction effect of gender and autobiographical memory on delay discounting: while men with higher memory scores showed less delay discounting, women with higher memory scores tended to discount the future more. We speculate that this gender effect might stem from the gender-specific use of different modal representation formats (i.e. temporal or visual) during assessment of intertemporal choice options.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Interaction effects of gender and IGD-C2 scores on parameter β.(A) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the male subsample. (B) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the female subsample. (C) To further illustrate the gender-dependent differences in the relationship between memory performance and discounting, we performed a median split to categorize participants according to their IGD-C2 performance (high- vs. low performers). Individual bars show mean βvalues for subgroups with high and low IGD-C2 scores. Error bars show the standard error of the mean (s.e.m.).
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pone.0137061.g004: Interaction effects of gender and IGD-C2 scores on parameter β.(A) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the male subsample. (B) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the female subsample. (C) To further illustrate the gender-dependent differences in the relationship between memory performance and discounting, we performed a median split to categorize participants according to their IGD-C2 performance (high- vs. low performers). Individual bars show mean βvalues for subgroups with high and low IGD-C2 scores. Error bars show the standard error of the mean (s.e.m.).

Mentions: To further explore a potential effect of gender, interaction terms were calculated by multiplying centered memory scores with gender. The addition of the three interaction terms (gender x FNPA-PF, gender x IGD-C1 and gender x IGD-C2) in the third regression model revealed several interaction effects (Table 4). The interaction between gender and IGD-C2 scores significantly predicted discount parameters ln(k) (beta = 1.129, p = .007) as well as β (beta = -3.538, p = .001) (Table 4), indicating that in males, a higher scores for autobiographical fact and date recall went along with less discounting, whereas in females higher recall scores went along with more discounting (see Fig 3 and Fig 4). The increase in R2 was significant compared to the second regression model for both ln(k), F(3,47) = 3.292, p = .029, and β, F(3,47) = 4.371, p = .009, as dependent variable. As gender is a binary variable, there was a high correlation between the interaction terms and the corresponding memory terms. Therefore, the significant effects of the memory measures in regression model 3 should be ignored.


Gender-Specific Differences in the Relationship between Autobiographical Memory and Intertemporal Choice in Older Adults.

Seinstra M, Grzymek K, Kalenscher T - PLoS ONE (2015)

Interaction effects of gender and IGD-C2 scores on parameter β.(A) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the male subsample. (B) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the female subsample. (C) To further illustrate the gender-dependent differences in the relationship between memory performance and discounting, we performed a median split to categorize participants according to their IGD-C2 performance (high- vs. low performers). Individual bars show mean βvalues for subgroups with high and low IGD-C2 scores. Error bars show the standard error of the mean (s.e.m.).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4559386&req=5

pone.0137061.g004: Interaction effects of gender and IGD-C2 scores on parameter β.(A) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the male subsample. (B) Scatterplot with regression line of the IGD-C2 and βscores in the female subsample. (C) To further illustrate the gender-dependent differences in the relationship between memory performance and discounting, we performed a median split to categorize participants according to their IGD-C2 performance (high- vs. low performers). Individual bars show mean βvalues for subgroups with high and low IGD-C2 scores. Error bars show the standard error of the mean (s.e.m.).
Mentions: To further explore a potential effect of gender, interaction terms were calculated by multiplying centered memory scores with gender. The addition of the three interaction terms (gender x FNPA-PF, gender x IGD-C1 and gender x IGD-C2) in the third regression model revealed several interaction effects (Table 4). The interaction between gender and IGD-C2 scores significantly predicted discount parameters ln(k) (beta = 1.129, p = .007) as well as β (beta = -3.538, p = .001) (Table 4), indicating that in males, a higher scores for autobiographical fact and date recall went along with less discounting, whereas in females higher recall scores went along with more discounting (see Fig 3 and Fig 4). The increase in R2 was significant compared to the second regression model for both ln(k), F(3,47) = 3.292, p = .029, and β, F(3,47) = 4.371, p = .009, as dependent variable. As gender is a binary variable, there was a high correlation between the interaction terms and the corresponding memory terms. Therefore, the significant effects of the memory measures in regression model 3 should be ignored.

Bottom Line: Research on the effects of aging on intertemporal decisions shows inconsistent, often opposing results, indicating that yet unexplored factors might play an essential role in guiding one's choices.We found no clear evidence for a relationship between episodic memory performance and delay discounting in older adults.However, when additionally considering gender differences, we found an interaction effect of gender and autobiographical memory on delay discounting: while men with higher memory scores showed less delay discounting, women with higher memory scores tended to discount the future more.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Comparative Psychology, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

ABSTRACT
As the population of older adults grows, their economic choices will have increasing impact on society. Research on the effects of aging on intertemporal decisions shows inconsistent, often opposing results, indicating that yet unexplored factors might play an essential role in guiding one's choices. Recent studies suggest that episodic future thinking, which is based on the same neural network involved in episodic memory functions, leads to reductions in discounting of future rewards. As episodic memory functioning declines with normal aging, but to greatly variable degrees, individual differences in delay discounting might be due to individual differences in the vitality of this memory system in older adults. We investigated this hypothesis, using a sample of healthy older adults who completed an intertemporal choice task as well as two episodic memory tasks. We found no clear evidence for a relationship between episodic memory performance and delay discounting in older adults. However, when additionally considering gender differences, we found an interaction effect of gender and autobiographical memory on delay discounting: while men with higher memory scores showed less delay discounting, women with higher memory scores tended to discount the future more. We speculate that this gender effect might stem from the gender-specific use of different modal representation formats (i.e. temporal or visual) during assessment of intertemporal choice options.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus