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January 07 , 2009

The Development of Judgment and Decision Making in Children and Adolescents


In recent years, newspaper articles, television specials, and other media events have focused on the numerous hard decisions faced by today's youth, often pointing to teen pregnancy, drug use, and delinquency as evidence of faulty judgment. Over the past 10 years, many groups - including parents, educators, policymakers, and researchers - have become concerned about the decision-making abilities of children and adolescents, asking why they make risky choices, how they can be taught to be better decision makers, and what types of age-related changes occur in decision making. This book serves as a starting point for those interested in considering new ways of thinking about the development of these issues. The purpose is to bring together the voices of several authors who are conducting cutting-edge research and developing new theoretical perspectives related to the development of judgment and decision making.

The Development of Judgment and Decision Making in Children and Adolescents is divided into three parts:

  • Part I presents three distinctive developmental models that offer different explanations of "what develops" and the relative importance of different cognitive components and experiential components that may be important for developing judgment and decision making skills.
  • Part II emphasizes the emotional, cultural, and social aspects of decision making – three topics that have been influential in the adult literature on judgment and decision making but are just beginning to be explored in the developmental area.
  • Part III provides three examples of research that applies developmental and decision making models to practical research questions.

This book is intended for the professional market or for graduate courses on decision making or cognitive or social development.

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