The probabilities of events in the environment are important as controllers of how we cope with that environment. Attention is deployed to parts of the visual field where important events are most likely to happen; in predicting what will happen next in a situation, probable things tend to be predicted. This paper assesses adult age differences in the use of probabilistic information, using the laboratory task-settings of choice reaction time, simple prediction, and selective attending. In almost all situations the elderly are less influenced by event probabilities than their juniors, although they are just as capable of registering the probabilities involved. This consistent age effect contradicts the predictions of Griew’s theory which assumes that behavioural experience operates by increasing the use of probabilistic information.

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