Adolescent risky decision making

Website Vrije Universiteit

Adolescence, the phase of the lifespan between childhood and adulthood, is a period of life associated with wide-ranging social, emotional, and cognitive development. During this time, there are normative changes in social attunement, reward-related motivation, and future oriented thinking. One manifestation of these complex processes in an increase in risk taking behavior. Excessive amounts of risk taking behavior can lead to adverse consequences in the long term. However, it is currently not well understood what processes lead to an increase in risky decision making in adolescence.

This project focuses on how decision making in adolescence differs from decision making in childhood and adulthood and how these differences in decision making strategies give rise to increases in risky decision making.

Within the project you will spend part of your time assisting in data collection for the fMRI part of the study. All participants are Dutch adolescents of 16 and 17 years old. Good command of the Dutch language is therefore required. Partial data collection has been completed and the exact focus of the research question for your thesis can be discussed and tailored to your interests. Starting date and length of the internship is flexible.

You can find more information about the project on

This project will be supervised by Dr. Barbara Braams –

Please get in touch via email b.r.braams (at) if you have any questions

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