Teaching Decision Making to Adolescents

By Jonathan Baron; Rex V. Brown | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Introduction

Baron Jonathan University of Pennsylvania

Rex V. Brown Decision Science Consortium, Inc. Reston, VA


SCOPE OF BOOK

Motivation

It is easy to find decisions that turn out badly. Teenagers get pregnant, couples enter into marriages that end in divorce or physical conflict, national leaders promulgate policies that drive their own (or other) countries into ruin, citizens vote for leaders who do this, and we all waste time and money in countless ways.

The chapters in this book assume that bad outcomes often result from poorly made decisions. By teaching people to make better decisions, we can improve their lives. By teaching decision making to adolescents, we have a chance to influence the decision making of a much broader range of citizens than those who attend college. We also have a chance to influence decision making before many bad decisions are made.

The chapters here are concerned with methods of instruction in decision making that could be used with adolescents. The book is directed primarily to those who want to attempt such instruction, either as new curriculum, as enrichment of traditional curriculum, or as research. It is thus directed to teachers, teachers in training, educational researchers, and research students. The book attempts to answer several questions about decision making suggested by an old saw: Is it broke? Can we fix it? What will it take?

-7-

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