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Publications [#275507] of John W. Payne

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Journal Articles

  1. Kwak, Y; Payne, JW; Cohen, AL; Huettel, SA (2015). The rational adolescent: Strategic information processing during decision making revealed by eye tracking. Cognitive Development, 36, 20-30. [repository], [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/07/04)

    Abstract Adolescence is often viewed as a time of irrational, risky decision-making—despite adolescents’ competence in other cognitive domains. In this study, we examined the strategies used by adolescents (N = 30) and young adults (N = 47) to resolve complex, multi-outcome economic gambles. Compared to adults, adolescents were more likely to make conservative, loss-minimizing choices consistent with economic models. Eye-tracking data showed that prior to decisions, adolescents acquired more information in a more thorough manner; that is, they engaged in a more analytic processing strategy indicative of trade-offs between decision variables. In contrast, young adults’ decisions were more consistent with heuristics that simplified the decision problem, at the expense of analytic precision. Collectively, these results demonstrate a counter-intuitive developmental transition in economic decision making: adolescents’ decisions are more consistent with rational-choice models, while young adults more readily engage task-appropriate heuristics.

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