Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

JoNell Strough

Committee Co-Chair

Barry Edelstein

Committee Member

Scott Fleming

Committee Member

Julie Hicks Patrick

Committee Member

Constance Toffle


The present study used a between-subjects design with three instruction conditions to investigate susceptibility to the framing effect among younger, middle-aged, and older adults. Participants were instructed to pay attention to the facts and numbers, to use their gut feelings, or to use their previous experiences to respond to two decision-making scenarios pertaining to treatment for lung cancer and a vaccination for a flu virus. Results revealed that, overall, the framing effect was present in the lung cancer scenario, but not the flu scenario. Instruction condition and age did not affect susceptibility to the framing effect; however, a frame by condition was identified for older adults in a flu scenario. The short-term survival information was more important to participants in the survival frame of the lung cancer scenario. Numeracy was not a significant predictor of the framing effect. Previous research has demonstrated mixed results concerning age differences in the framing effect. The current study further supports that there is no age difference in susceptibility to the framing effect and susceptibility may not be determined by the type of information that is used when making a decision.