Ever wonder why teens make poor decisions when they are around their friends?
Ever wonder why teens make poor decisions when they are around their friends? It turns out that just thinking their friends are watching them causes teens to take more risks. The New York Times reports, “It was as if the presence of friends, even in the next room, prompted the brain’s reward system to drown out any warning signals about risk, tipping the balance toward the reward. “The presence of peers activated the reward circuitry in the brain of adolescents that it didn’t do in the case of adults,” said Laurence Steinberg, an author of the study.”
Since it sounds like teens are hard-wired in a way that adults aren’t, I wonder if there’s any way to change it?
However, when I told Teen about the study, she saw it in a different way. She felt the teens, knowing there was no risk to driving poorly in the driving simulator, felt driven to take more chances so they would entertain their friends. She felt that in real life they would weigh the real risks differently.