Accuracy more important than speed for older adults

In one experiment, participants had to decide as quickly as possible whether there was a ‘small’ number or a ‘large’ number of asterisks displayed on a computer screen. In another experiment, participants were shown a string of letters and had to decide whether they formed a word in English. 

“Older people don’t want to make any errors at all, and that causes them to slow down. We found that it is difficult to get them out of the habit, but they can with practice,” said Professor Gail McKoon, a co-author of the studies. 

Cognitive Psychology, 2012; 64(1-2):1-34