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ERIC Number: EJ871385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Age Differences in Affective Decision Making as Indexed by Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task
Cauffman, Elizabeth; Shulman, Elizabeth P.; Steinberg, Laurence; Claus, Eric; Banich, Marie T.; Graham, Sandra; Woolard, Jennifer
Developmental Psychology, v46 n1 p193-207 Jan 2010
Contemporary perspectives on age differences in risk taking, informed by advances in developmental neuroscience, have emphasized the need to examine the ways in which emotional and cognitive factors interact to influence decision making. In the present study, a diverse sample of 901 individuals between the ages of 10 and 30 were administered a modified version of the Iowa Gambling Task, which is designed to measure affective decision making. Results indicate that approach behaviors (operationalized as the tendency to play increasingly from the advantageous decks over the course of the task) display an inverted U-shape relation to age, peaking in mid- to late adolescence. In contrast, avoidance behaviors (operationalized as the tendency to refrain from playing from the disadvantageous decks) increase linearly with age, with adults avoiding disadvantageous decks at higher rates than both preadolescents and adolescents. The finding that adolescents, compared to adults, are relatively more approach oriented in response to positive feedback and less avoidant in response to negative feedback is consistent with recent studies of brain development, as well as epidemiological data on various types of risky behavior, and may have important practical implications for the prevention of adolescent risk taking. (Contains 6 tables, 3 figures and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Colorado; District of Columbia; Pennsylvania