ON DECISION MAKING
The four chapters in Part II comprise various approaches to decision making that address emotional, social, and cultural influences on developmental trends in decision making and related processes. The goal in selecting these authors and topics for inclusion was to highlight a variety of contexts in which children and adolescents must make judgments and decisions. In addition, we wanted to include a range of descriptive and explanatory variables that have been considered in attempting to understand contextual influences on decision making. Thus, the chapters in this section include peer, parental, and cultural contexts, and the potential explanatory variables include emotions, social—cogni— tive representations, expectancies, collaborative interactions, and cognitive biases and abilities.
In chapter 4, Amsel, Bowden, Cottrell, and Sullivan present theory and evidence that the anticipation of regret affects the decisions of preadolescents and adults. At the core of the Amsel et al. chapter is the notion that cognitive developmentalists have neglected the role of higher order emotions and, specifically, regret, in decision making. Thus, by anticipating outcomes that they would likely regret, both children and adults can avoid nonoptimal decisions. However, the process of regret anticipation involves such skills as (a) systematically generating positive and negative possible outcomes for decision options, (b) making af