Dealing With Uncertainty: Testing Risk- and Ambiguity-Attitude Across Adolescence

Neeltje E. Blankenstein*, Eveline A. Crone, Wouter van den Bos, Anna C.K. van Duijvenvoorde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Attitudes to risk (known probabilities) and attitudes to ambiguity (unknown probabilities) are separate constructs that influence decision making, but their development across adolescence remains elusive. We administered a choice task to a wide adolescent age-range (N = 157, 10–25 years) to disentangle risk- and ambiguity-attitudes using a model-based approach. Additionally, this task was played in a social context, presenting choices from a high risk-taking peer. We observed age-related changes in ambiguity-attitude, but not risk-attitude. Also, ambiguity-aversion was negatively related to real-life risk taking. Finally, the social context influenced only risk-attitudes. These results highlight the importance of disentangling risk- and ambiguity-attitudes in adolescent risk taking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016

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