A Caltech Library Service

Risk contagion by peers affects learning and decision-making in adolescents

Reiter, Andrea M. F. and Suzuki, Shinsuke and O'Doherty, John P. and Li, Shu-Chen and Eppinger, Ben (2019) Risk contagion by peers affects learning and decision-making in adolescents. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148 (9). pp. 1494-1504. ISSN 1939-2222.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Adolescence is a period of life in which social influences—particularly if they come from peers—play a critical role in shaping learning and decision preferences. Recent studies in adults show evidence of a risk contagion effect; that is, individual risk preferences are modulated by observing and learning from others’ risk-related decisions. In this study, using choice data and computational modeling, we demonstrate stronger risk contagion in male adolescents when observing peers compared to nonpeers. This effect was only present when the observed peer showed risk-seeking preferences. Moreover, adolescents represented the peers’ decisions better than those of adults. Intriguingly, the degree of peer-biased risk contagion in adolescents was positively associated with real-life social integration. Contrary to previous accounts, our data suggest that peer conformity during risky decision-making in adolescence is a socially motivated, deliberative process. Susceptibility to peer influence in adolescence might be adaptive, associated with higher degrees of social functioning.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Suzuki, Shinsuke0000-0002-9816-9423
O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Additional Information:© 2019 American Psychological Association.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)SFB 940/2 B7
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)EMOTISK 16SV7243
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190128-143447700
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92496
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Jan 2019 16:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:45

Repository Staff Only: item control page