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1- Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
3- School of Cognitive Sciences, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:  
During early adolescence, peer influences play a crucial role in shaping learning and decision preferences. When teens observe what their peers are doing, they can learn and change their behavior, especially when they are taking risks. Our study incorporated an economical behavioral task and computational modeling framework to examine whether and how early male adolescents' risk attitudes change when they see information about their peers' choices. We recruited 38 middle school male students aged 12-15 years. The experiment consisted of three sessions: The first session and the third session were designed to evaluate the risk attitude of the participants. In the second session, participants were asked to guess the choices made by their peers, and then the computer gave them feedback on the correctness of their predictions. Each participant was randomly assigned to risk-taking or risk-averse peers. Our results revealed that teenagers who predicted risk-averse peers exhibited significant declines in their risk attitudes during the last session. On the other hand, participants with risk-seeking peers exhibited a significantly higher level of risk attitudes after predicting their peers. The data showed that these peer-biased changes in risk attitudes are proportional to the gap between teens' and their peers' risk perspectives. Results showed that their perspectives aligned closer after receiving the information, and approximately a third of the gap was eliminated. This shift may be part of an adaptive process that involves social integration.  
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2023/02/17 | Accepted: 2023/06/27

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