Teens need to form own opinions, make own decisions
April 4, 2011 • Staff Editorial
Filed under Viewpoint
Teens these days are too easily persuaded, whether it be forming political ideas or deciding to try something we may not want to, we walk blindly into decisions based on what we hear from other sources around us rather than think for ourselves.
Although teen decision making isn’t as good as an adults, there is a reason for this. Compared to the adult brain, which thinks more rationally, the teen brain is very underdeveloped. The part of the brain which controls the teenage mind is called the amygdala, an almond shaped part of the brain that controls decision making.
“The brain is mostly developing during the teenage years,” Chhavria Abria, neurologist, said. “Usually the human brain is not fully developed until we reach the age of 25.”
With underdeveloped brains, we are also much more impressionable than adults, meaning we are more apt to make a decision blindly from outside influences, than from what we actually know.
“The structure of the brain is almost like a computer with different circuits and connections. Decisions are made with the connections from one part of the brain to the other, and an underdeveloped teen brain lacks these connections, so the information can’t be processed,” Abria said. “Because of this, teens react on the influences around them, such as mood or other people.”
Despite this setback, there is nothing that says teens are unable to slow down for a second and try and think a bit more rationally. We must learn take a second and let our brains process information, as opposed to rushing and making a blind opinion or decision.
For example, many high school students for blind opinions about politics and come to class with certain political views that represent their parents, and then once they go off to college and become more knowledgeable about politics, their political views completely change.
Rushing into decisions or opinions blindly only can lead to negative consequences. Teenagers need to take the time to educate themselves and form their own opinions about certain topics, as well as take time to make rational decisions.