Categorization of information and decision-making: A developmental perspective

Martha J Kowalczyk, Fordham University


This study examined the relationship between categorization of information and decision-making in three age groups: Young Adolescents, Young Adults, and Older Adults. Participants read statements about common knowledge and ADHD and were asked to rate those statements as fact or belief and to categorize how much they and others would agree with the statements. From these categorizations, six patterns emerged, and their usage was compared across age groups. Young Adolescents rated more statements as facts and stated that they thought others would agree with their categorizations. Older Adults and Young Adults were more likely to think that others may or may not agree with the statements with which they agreed. The categorization patterns were then compared to a decision-making task in which participants had to decide whether to diagnose a child with ADHD and how to treat that child. Three quarters of the participants chose to diagnose the child with ADHD with the Young Adolescents choosing to diagnose significantly more than the other two age groups. Young Adults chose to treat the child using Behavioral methods, and Older Adults chose both medication and behavioral methods. Participants who agreed with the ADHD statements and thought that others would agree were more likely to diagnose the child with ADHD and choose Medication as the method of treatment.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Developmental psychology|Cognitive psychology

Recommended Citation

Kowalczyk, Martha J, "Categorization of information and decision-making: A developmental perspective" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3589641.