Social information use in decision-making across adolescence

  • Dutch language proficiency required
  • English language proficiency required
  • Amsterdam

Website Department of Developmental Psychology - Connected Minds Lab

People often rely on others when making decisions, by for example copying other’s decisions or adapting their own decision into the direction of someone else’s. In this project, we will investigate on whom people rely on and when. We hypothesize that people will rely more on others who are more confident in their decision than on others who are less confident. We think this effect extends to social bonds, such that people rely more on friends or on others who are more similar to themselves versus non-friends or others who are very different from themselves. Moreover, we think these effects are strongest when people find themselves in a more uncertain situation, such that there is more information to gain when looking at other’s decisions.

We will research this from a developmental perspective, asking whether social information use and neural activity changes over the course of adolescence.



Online behavioral study (ongoing) and fMRI to test which brain areas are involved in social information use. A first fMRI study (adults) will likely start in November 2021, with a second study (adolescents) likely starting in February 2022.



1.      Olsson, A., Knapska, E. & Lindström, B. (2020). The neural and computational systems of social learning. Nat Rev Neurosci 21, 197–212.

2.      Olsen, K., Roepstorff, A., & Bang, D. (2019, March 22). Knowing whom to learn from: individual differences in metacognition and weighting of social information.

3.      Van den Bos, W., van Dijk, E., Westenberg, M., Rombouts, S. A. R. B., and Crone, E. A. (2011). Changing brains, changing perspectives: the neurocognitive development of reciprocity. Psychol. Sci. 22, 60–70. doi: 10.1177/0956797610391102

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