The Rational Adolescent: Strategic Information Processing during Decision Making Revealed by Eye Tracking.
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Adolescence is often viewed as a time of irrational, risky decision-making - despite adolescents' competence in other cognitive domains. In this study, we examined the strategies used by adolescents (N=30) and young adults (N=47) to resolve complex, multi-outcome economic gambles. Compared to adults, adolescents were more likely to make conservative, loss-minimizing choices consistent with economic models. Eye-tracking data showed that prior to decisions, adolescents acquired more information in a more thorough manner; that is, they engaged in a more analytic processing strategy indicative of trade-offs between decision variables. In contrast, young adults' decisions were more consistent with heuristics that simplified the decision problem, at the expense of analytic precision. Collectively, these results demonstrate a counter-intuitive developmental transition in economic decision making: adolescents' decisions are more consistent with rational-choice models, while young adults more readily engage task-appropriate heuristics.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.cogdev.2015.08.001
Publication InfoKwak, Y; Payne, JW; Cohen, AL; & Huettel, SA (2015). The Rational Adolescent: Strategic Information Processing during Decision Making Revealed by Eye Tracking. Cogn Dev, 36. pp. 20-30. 10.1016/j.cogdev.2015.08.001. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10590.
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Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Research in my laboratory investigates the brain mechanisms underlying economic and social decision making; collectively, this research falls into the field of “decision neuroscience” or "neuroeconomics". My laboratory uses fMRI to probe brain function, behavioral assays to characterize individual differences, and other physiological methods (e.g., eye tracking, pharmacological manipulation, genetics) to link brain and behavior. Concurrent with research on basic processes, my labo
Professor Emeritus of Business Administration
John W. Payne is the Joseph J. Ruvane Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He also had appointments as a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and as a Professor of Law at Duke University. His education includes a B.A. 1969, M.A. 1972, Ph.D. 1973 in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. He held a position as a postdoctoral fellow in Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University, 1973-74. Pr
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