Professor Mike Shor, PI on an NIH grant examining choice overload, has had the results of his research published by two economics journals. Along with his co-investigators (Tibor Besedes, Cary Deck, and Sudipta Sarangi), Professor Shor finds that people faced with too many choices often have difficulty discerning the right choice, contrary to classic economic theory. Seniors are especially vulnerable to poor decision-making when facing a multitude of options, such as critical decisions relating to health care. The main results are forthcoming in the Review of Economics and Statistics. An examination of why seniors, specifically, make poor decisions appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. The authors find that poor performance among seniors is not for lack of trying, but due to seniors’ use of sub-optimal decision rules to reduce the number of choices down to a manageable level.

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