Resource‐rational approach to meta‐control problems across the lifespan


Over the last decade, research on cognitive control and decision‐making has revealed that individuals weigh the costs and benefits of engaging in or refraining from control and that whether and how they engage in these cost–benefit analyses may change across development and during healthy aging. In the present article, we examine how lifespan age differences in cognitive abilities affect the meta‐control of behavioral strategies across the lifespan and how motivation affects these trade‐offs. Based on accumulated evidence, we highlight two hypotheses that may explain the existing results better than current models. In contrast to previous theoretical accounts, we assume that age differences in the engagement in cost–benefit trade‐offs reflect a resource‐rational adaptation to internal and external constraints that arise across the lifespan.

Alexa Ruel
Alexa Ruel
Post doctoral Researcher

My research interests include decision-making strategies and cognitive control changes during healthy aging.