Wisdom really does come with age, according to a study which shows older people make better decisions than young adults who are too impulsive.

Two experiments designed to mirror realistic decision-making scenarios showed that older people were far better at making choices that led to long-term gain.

While university-age participants were quicker to make choices which led to immediate rewards, another group aged 60 to 80 were much more adept at taking strategic decisions which took future stages into account.

Previous studies had indicated that our ability to make decisions declines as we get older, but these had focused on people’s capacity to make choices one at a time.

Psychologists from the University of Texas, believing these tests to be biased against older brains, came up with a new series of trials requiring participants to weigh up each decision while considering how it would affect future choices, as we do in the real world.

The findings, to be published in the Psychological Science journal, found that older people’s wisdom helped them outperform younger participants at taking the bigger picture into account.

read more: telegraph