Why_Teenagers_Do_Stupid_Things[1] - Science Why Teenagers...

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Science: Why Teenagers Do Stupid Things A new study asks why teenagers do stupid and dangerous things. The answers might surprise you. By Wray Herbert Special to Newsweek Nov. 21, 2006 - In the popular 1955 movie “Rebel Without a Cause,” moody teenager Jim Stark makes a bad choice. He decides to drive his ’49 Mercury at high speed toward a seaside cliff in a game of “chicken” with his nemesis, the bully Buzz Gunderson. It’s actually a worse life decision for Buzz, who loses the game and perishes in the Pacific Ocean. American culture has shifted dramatically in the half century since heartthrob James Dean starred in this cult classic. But some things have not changed, including the fact that teenagers make risky, and often life-threatening, choices. The deadly “chickie run” may be a cultural artifact, but it has been replaced by other risks, including widespread drug use and HIV infection, and adolescents continue to put themselves in harm’s way. Why? As a parent of three boys, I want to interview the Jim Starks of the world. First I want to shake them by the lapels, but then I want to ask them these questions: What were you thinking? What precisely was going on in your reasoning process when you said to yourself, “Sure, racing my car toward a cliff is an OK thing to do”? Surprisingly, behavioral scientists have actually done these interviews with hundreds of
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2011 for the course LIT 337 taught by Professor Jackson during the Winter '10 term at Grand Valley State.

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Why_Teenagers_Do_Stupid_Things[1] - Science Why Teenagers...

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