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Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things
...here’s the counterintuitive rub. It has long been assumed (and taught) that teenagers do stupid things because they can’t think very far into the future and therefore can’t fathom harm or death. But according to Reyna and Farley’s review of the scientific literature, there is no evidence for the “myth of immortality.” Indeed, they demonstrate that if anything teenagers overestimate the risks of such things as drunk driving and unprotected sex. They just do them anyway. Why? Because they have weighed the risks and weighed the benefits and made a cold calculation that the benefits outweigh the risks. That benefit may be immediate pleasure, as with drugs and sugary foods, or the emotional connectedness that comes with fitting in.
So much for teenage capriciousness. In fact, Reyna and Farley argue, as teenagers develop into adults they become more, not less, intuitive and automatic and “irrational.” In the jargon of psychology, they become “fuzzier” in their thinking, and more apt to be guided by the “gist of the matter” rather than get bogged down in a mess of details. Here is another example from Reyna and Farley: Adults don’t spend a millisecond when asked if they want to play Russian roulette: The essential gist is “possibility of catastrophe” and however remote that possibility it’s enough to make a quick and final decision. Less mature minds might calculate the number of bullets, number of chambers, probabilities, etc. Guess who makes the wiser life choice.
So what does this mean for keeping our kids alive through this perilous transition? There are some concrete public health lessons here, Reyna and Farley conclude: Supplying teenagers with yet more information or more precise information about risk is unlikely to lead to any significant change in behavior. Indeed, such interventions could backfire, since most adolescents already overestimate perils of risky behavior. So, for example, trying to teach teenagers to “drink responsibly” is probably an unwise strategy, since it plays right into their immature habit of overthinking everything. It would make more sense, in light of the new research, to enforce drinking ages and restrict teenage driving and otherwise eliminate opportunities for risk.
Originally posted by AMANNAMEDQUEST
No wisdom, which comes with age and axperience
Originally posted by soficrow
This study's findings shows that kids use reason to make their decisions, not 'intuition' as adults do. AND they consider more factors in their decision-making, plus overestimate the risks involved - but still make a reasoned decision to proceed.
Originally posted by a1ex
I believe it's because younger people more likely to get addicted, (weak will) than older persons.