Risk, Cognitive Control, and Adolescence. Challenging the Dual Systems Model

Abstract

According to the dual systems model, adolescence is a period of imbalance between cognitive and motivational systems that results in increased tendency towards risk. In the study, we investigated the effects of rewards on risk-taking and cognitive control in 90 adolescents (13-16) and 96 adults (18-35). Our results challenge the assumptions of the model as we observed that rewards lead adolescents to more conservative decisions in one of the risk tasks used in the study. We also observed that in cognitive control tasks, rewards influenced reaction latencies, but not the efficiency of control processes.


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