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Journal Article

Citation

Shulman EP, Cauffman E. Dev. Psychol. 2014; 50(1): 167-177.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2014, American Psychological Association)

DOI

10.1037/a0032778

PMID

23647416

Abstract

Elevated levels of risky behavior in adolescence may signal developmental change in unconscious appraisal of risk. Yet, prior research examining adolescent risk judgment has used tasks that elicit conscious deliberation. The present study, in contrast, attempts to characterize age differences in (less conscious) intuitive impressions of risk. Participants (N = 282; ages 10-30) were presented with depictions of a range of risky and nonrisky activities. They were given 2.5 s to rate each activity on a continuous scale ranging from "bad idea" (low-risk favorability) to "good idea" (high-risk favorability). A curvilinear pattern was found, such that favorability ratings increased across adolescence and peaked around age 20. These results pose a challenge to developmental models that view early adolescence as the period of greatest predisposition toward risk taking; however, they are fairly consistent with age patterns for actual risk taking, at least with respect to crime, binge drinking, and unwanted pregnancy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).


Language: en

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