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Letters

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12:02pm, July 13, 2012

Shopping standards shift with age
In When good moods go decisively bad” (SN: 6/16/12, p. 10), researchers assume that their 70-year-old study participants would be as interested as their 20-something counterparts in finding up to 40 prices on 60 products in an Internet shopping exercise. When the septuagenarians fail to choose the cheapest product, the researchers infer that the happy elderly may make poor decisions. Perhaps instead, the happy oldsters make a quick, acceptable decision rather than waste time making a marginally more perfect one.
Kevin Stevenson, Port Townsend, Wash.

Bettina von Helversen, one of the study researchers, responds that elderly volunteers reported more interest in getting good deals on the task than younger volunteers did, although there’s no guarantee that both groups were equally motivated by finan

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