The development of decision-making
“Children are not little adults”
Even though it is well known that individuals in different age groups behave differently, these are often attributed to changes in preferences or in cognitive abilities over time. However, very little is known about the processes through which preferences or abilities change. The case of children is particularly striking. The common view is that children are not able to make decisions or to avoid mistakes. However, little is known about how behavior changes until adulthood, when preferences become stable, or when decision-making becomes rational in strategic interactions. The main objective of our research is to study developmental aspects of decision-making relying on experimental economics paradigms and methods.
Differences across children and teens
We are also interested in the differences between normally developing children and children affected by behavioral disorders, such as ADHD. In particular, we want to determine whether differences are due to developmental delays or rather structural differences. Understanding the causes and the mechanisms of the diseases has important implications for intervention.