Poster Title (Current Submission)

Susceptibility to Deceptive Advertising Among Older Adults

Major(s)

Psychology

Minor(s)

Chemistry

Mentor Name

Natalie Denburg

Other Mentor Department

Neurology

Presentation Date

3-25-2010

Abstract

Deceptive and fraudulent advertisers, telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople are notorious for targeting older adults. These deceptive practices can cost older adults money, time, and their psychological health. The current study examines decision-making and reasoning amongst a community sample of seemingly healthy older adults. Two different real-world tasks were performed in this experiment. First, each participant was given the Iowa Gambling Task, a decision-making task using a card selection paradigm where money can be won or loss. Second, each participant viewed a series of real-life advertisements, half of which were deemed deceptive or misleading by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). After viewing the ads, a series of questions about each advertisement was presented to the participants, focusing on such things as ad comprehension and the participant’s likelihood of purchasing the items in real life. The results indicated that a sizable subset of older adults, who performed poorly on the Iowa Gambling Task, were also shown to be deceived by the advertisements that had untrue claims in them. Results from this study will (1) help to identify vulnerable persons; (2) promote public policy; and (3) create new avenues for therapeutic research, to help older adults avoid being taken advantage of or scammed.

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Mar 25th, 12:00 AM

Susceptibility to Deceptive Advertising Among Older Adults

Deceptive and fraudulent advertisers, telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople are notorious for targeting older adults. These deceptive practices can cost older adults money, time, and their psychological health. The current study examines decision-making and reasoning amongst a community sample of seemingly healthy older adults. Two different real-world tasks were performed in this experiment. First, each participant was given the Iowa Gambling Task, a decision-making task using a card selection paradigm where money can be won or loss. Second, each participant viewed a series of real-life advertisements, half of which were deemed deceptive or misleading by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). After viewing the ads, a series of questions about each advertisement was presented to the participants, focusing on such things as ad comprehension and the participant’s likelihood of purchasing the items in real life. The results indicated that a sizable subset of older adults, who performed poorly on the Iowa Gambling Task, were also shown to be deceived by the advertisements that had untrue claims in them. Results from this study will (1) help to identify vulnerable persons; (2) promote public policy; and (3) create new avenues for therapeutic research, to help older adults avoid being taken advantage of or scammed.