- Affective and cognitive decision making in adolescents
- Developmental Neuropsychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Adolescents demonstrate impaired decision-making in emotionally arousing situations, yet they appear to exhibit relatively mature decision-making skills in predominately cognitive, low-arousal situations. In this study we compared adolescents’ (13-15 years) performance on matched affective and cognitive decision-making tasks, in order to determine (1) their performance level on each task and (2) whether performance on the cognitive task was associated with performance on the affective task. Both tasks required a comparison of choice dimensions characterized by frequency of loss, amount of loss, and constant gain. Results indicated that in the affective task, adolescents performed suboptimally by considering only the frequency of loss, whereas in the cognitive task adolescents used
relatively mature decision rules by considering two or all three choice dimensions. Performance on the affective task was not related to performance on the cognitive task. These results are discussed in light of neural developmental trajectories observed in adolescence.
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