The Role of Social and Emotional Context in the Development of Decision Making Processes

Principal Investigator:
Professor Jennifer Silvers Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Participants: Rooms5, 6 & 4 – Students ages 10-12
Keywords: Decision Making, Self-control, Emotional regulation


The current study seeks to understand how social and emotional information influences adolescent self-control and decision making. Specifically, we will examine how adolescents make decisions about risk and reward in different contexts. This research is the latest in a line of work by members of the Social Affective Neuroscience & Development lab that investigates how emotional and social processes influence well-being in youth (e.g., Silvers et al., 2016, Cerebral Cortex; Guassi Moreira & Telzer, 2016, Developmental Science). The specific aims of the study are (1) to understand whether practicing emotion regulation primes better impulse control during decision making in risky contexts (2) and whether adolescents refrain from risk taking when they realize that others are affected by their choices. Hopefully, the results of this current study will go on to inform future educational interventions aimed at improving students’ decision making and self-control