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Submission + - Why older people are more susceptible to swindlers (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "Stories of kindly grandmothers giving all their money away to nefarious confidence tricksters are unfortunately all too common. Now, researchers have suggested one reason why older people often seem to fall victim to financial fraud — our ability to judge the trustworthiness of people's faces diminishes with age.
Researchers examined how people in two age groups perceived photos of faces that had been pre-rated for trustworthiness and approachability. Although both age groups perceived faces rated as 'trustworthy' or 'neutral' as equally trustworthy and approachable, the older adults (aged 55–84, mean age 69) rated 'untrustworthy' faces as significantly more trustworthy and approachable than did the younger adults (aged 20–42, mean age 23).
Younger adults showed a strong response in a region of the brain called the anterior insula, which is known to control the 'gut feelings' that inform decision-making — especially when viewing untrustworthy faces. But the older adults displayed almost no such activation, suggesting they were getting diminished or no warning signals (abstract)."

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Why older people are more susceptible to swindlers

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