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.

Contents: Preface. Part I: Cognitive Developmental Approaches to Judgment and Decision Making. J.P. Byrnes, The Development of Self-Regulated Decision Making. P.A. Klaczynski, Metacognition and Cognitive Variability: A Dual-Process Model of Decision Making and Its Development. V.F. Reyna, M.B. Adam, K.M. Poirier, C.W. LeCroy, C.J. Brainerd, Risky Decision Making in Childhood and Adolescence: A Fuzzy-Trace Theory Approach. K.E. Stanovich, Commentary: Development and Decisions. Part II: Contextual Influences on Decision Making. E. Amsel, T. Bowden, J. Cottrell, J. Sullivan, Anticipating and Avoiding Regret as a Model of Adolescent Decision Making. J.E. Jacobs, K.E. Johnston, "Everyone Else Is Doing It:" Relations Between Bias in Base-Rate Estimates and Involvement in Deviant Behaviors. C.C. Helwig, Culture and the Construction of Concepts of Personal Autonomy and Democratic Decision Making. M. Gauvain, S.M. Perez, Not All Hurried Children Are the Same: Children's Participation in Deciding on and Planning Their After-School Activities. C.A. Berg, Commentary: Lessons From a Life-Span Perspective to Adolescent Decision Making. Part III: Decision Making in the Real World. L.L. Finken, The Role of Consultants in Adolescents' Decision Making: A Focus on Abortion Decisions. E. Cauffman, J. Woolard, Crime, Competence, and Culpability: Adolescent Judgment in the Justice System. K.M. Galotti, Setting Goals and Making Plans: How Children and Adolescents Frame Their Decisions. D. Moshman, Commentary: The Development of Thinking. B. Fischhoff, Afterword: Development of and in Behavioral Decision Research.