Human development of the ability to learn from bad news

Moutsiana, Christina, Garrett, Neil ORCID:, Clarke, Richard, Lotto, Beau, Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne and Sharot, Tali (2013) Human development of the ability to learn from bad news. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 41. pp. 16396-16401. ISSN 1091-6490

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Humans show a natural tendency to discount bad news while in- corporating good news into beliefs (the “good news–bad news effect”), an effect that may help explain seemingly irrational risk taking. Understanding how this bias develops with age is impor- tant because adolescents are prone to engage in risky behavior; thus, educating them about danger is crucial. We reveal a striking valence-dependent asymmetry in how belief updating develops with age. In the ages tested (9–26 y), younger age was associated with inaccurate updating of beliefs in response to undesirable in- formation regarding vulnerability. In contrast, the ability to up- date beliefs accurately in response to desirable information remained relatively stable with age. This asymmetry was medi- ated by adequate computational use of positive but not negative estimation errors to alter beliefs. The results are important for understanding how belief formation develops and might help ex- plain why adolescents do not respond adequately to warnings.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2021 01:03
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 03:06
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305631110

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