The Development of Judgment and Decision Making in Children and Adolescents

By Janis E. Jacobs; Paul A. Klaczynski | Go to book overview

Commentary:
Development and Decisions

Keith E. Stanovich

University of Toronto

In Part I, we have some of the best state-of-the-art work in the area of the development of judgment and decision making. This area is not overinvestigated, so we must welcome the systematic program of research that each chapter reports. An equally important contribution of these chapters is represented by the theoretical perspective presented. In very different ways, the chapters advance our theoretical understanding. Byrnes' model of self-regulated decision making (chap. 1) juxtaposes a large number of factors that have been implicated in decision research, and it synthesizes them in some very creative ways. In chapter 2, Klaczynski takes a matrix of theoretical insights that have been well worked out in the adult literature—two-process theories of cognition—and applies them to the development of decision- making abilities, where they have been relatively undeveloped. This is a wise and useful strategy. Finally, in chapter 3, Reyna, Adam, Poirier, LeCroy, and Brainerd set their research program within the context of fuzzy-trace theory, which has some similarities with two-process theories but also contains some unique and counterintuitive features that are of immense interest.

Because the work in these chapters is some of the best in the field and because I share so many of the metatheoretical assumptions of these authors, there is very little in these chapters I would wish to directly contradict. Rather than artificially trying to pick fights where none exist, I shall do something that is both more fun for me and perhaps more useful for the field. These chapters provide many insights and jumping-off points that illuminate both the field and my own research program, and I structure my comments

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