Adolescent Cognition
Thinking in a New Key
Part of the Series: Constructivism

Adolescent Cognition - Thinking in a New Key
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Thinking Scientifically about Decisions
Have you ever wondered why people make the decisions they do? Using the metaphor of manufacturing, learn what science has revealed about human decision making: informational raw materials go in, the cognitive machinery processes, control mechanisms guide the machinery, and a decision is made.
The Two-System Model of Decision Making
What's going on in your cognitive machinery as you manufacture your decision? Delve into the two-system model of decision making: System 1 is your automatic and intuitive processor, your earlier system from an evolutionary perspective; and System 2 is the flexible, powerful serial processor that you think of as "you."
The Role of Heuristics in Decisions
Heuristics are the decision shortcuts that people use every day. While too imprecise to lead to optimal decisions, they are powerful tools that allow you to make appropriate decisions fairly easily. However, if you don't understand the limitations of heuristics, they can easily lead you astray from the truth into…
How Habits Make Decisions Easier
Habits are our immediate automatic responses - good and bad - to situations when we don't take the time to manufacture a purposeful decision. Decision science gives us the psychological framework within which to understand how habits form and are activated, and how best to change them when we want…
Self-Regulation and Choice
Have you ever felt that your mind was so overworked you just could not make one more decision? Learn about the cognitive "fuel" needed for System 2 to rein in the automatic responses of System 1, and figure out how to recognize when you really are too resource-depleted to make…
The Value Curve and Human Decisions
Prospect Theory reveals the ways in which our decision-making machinery values an item and why. Learn how to make better decisions by understanding appropriate reference points, sensitivity to changes in value, and the super-sensitivity we all experience when it comes to potential loss.
Emotional Influences on Decision Making
Have you ever driven a bit recklessly when you felt angry or frustrated? If so, you know that emotions affect our decisions. Recently, scientists have discovered that our emotions play an even larger role than previously thought; in fact, they are an integral and necessary part of our cognitive machinery.
How Goals Guide Our Decisions
Can you influence the cognitive machinery that manufactures your decisions? Absolutely. Learn why and how our goals motivate us, which goals inspire our greatest effort, and how best to motivate others to help them meet their own goals - whether it's your sales team at work or your children at…
Reason-Based Choice
Even when manufacturing the seemingly simplest of decisions, our control panel can steer us in the wrong direction. Learn why our cognitive machinery often over-weights attributes, considers information that really has no bearing on the decision at hand, and sometimes makes short-term evaluations that won't serve us well later.
Mental Accounting as a Factor in Decisions
Mental accounting is a powerful decision-making tool we can employ to improve our lives. Learn how the process of partitioning objects and experiences in purposeful ways - everything from money and food to debt and social obligations - can increase happiness, decrease pain, and lead to better physical and emotional…
The Role of Mindsets in Decision Making
We don't make decisions in a vacuum. Before we even have the opportunity to decide our next action, before a stimulus even comes our way, we are mentally prepared to receive it. Our mindset, that stage of mental preparation, significantly affects how we perceive and process information and the decisions…
How Consistency Drives Decisions
Learn how the strong desire for consistency - between beliefs and actions, and between current and past actions - drives both our decision making and our judgment of others' actions. But what happens when our own actions are not consistent with our stated beliefs? Decision science reveals that we tend…