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Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things
Old 11-25-2006, 07:55 PM   #1
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Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things


To those of you who have (or had) teenagers, this is old news.

"In order to explore really stupid behavior, they [researchers] have asked [teenagers] what seem to be really stupid questions: Is it a good thing to set your hair on fire? Drink Drano? Go swimming where sharks swim?

The results are fascinating, and unsettling. While teenagers are just as likely as adults to get the answer right (the correct answer is “No”), teens actually have to mull the question over momentarily before they answer. As summarized by psychologists Valerie Reyna of Cornell and Frank Farley of Temple in the current issue of the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, teenagers take a split second longer than adults to reject such patently inane behaviors. And more of the teenage brain lights up, suggesting that they are actually going through some kind of deliberative calculation before concluding what the rest of us assume is obvious."


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Re: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things
Old 11-25-2006, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
To those of you who have (or had) teenagers,The results are fascinating, and unsettling. While teenagers are just as likely as adults to get the answer right (the correct answer is “No”), teens actually have to mull the question over momentarily before they answer.
As any combat veteran parent will recognize, the teens are just trying to figure out what answers the researchers want to hear. (Teenage mental thought: "Duh, dude, these questions have to be some sort of stupid trick!") Teenagers have honed their skill through years of practice at questions like "What were you thinking?!?" "How do you think that makes us feel?" "What in the world are you doing?!" and "What part of NO don't you understand?"

Adults don't give a damn what the researchers think, they're more than happy to proffer the benefit of their own wisdom. They certainly don't take any extra time to think about it because someone else might speak up before they do and hog all the credit.

The researchers clearly lack teenage children of their own!
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Re: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things
Old 11-25-2006, 08:28 PM   #3
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Re: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things

I think the really salient point of the article is that the teenagers choose to engage in the activity anyway. I consider it a type of natural selection.

"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."
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Re: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things
Old 11-25-2006, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things

I'm with Nords.


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