"The Myth of the Teen Brain"

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by visceral_instinct, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Every time I see this thread title I think, "Oh, so teenagers don't have a brain after all. I always suspected as much...."
     
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  3. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    We see teens with problems and assume this means they are messed up. I see it more as they are moving into the contradictions of adult life in a sick society. So they haven't learned how to control all their natural reactions to the mass of ugly and confusing stuff that is getting shoved into their brains. Those in the alternative community get more of an overview and some distance from these messages, not that they all avoid all the problems, but I think it helps.
     
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  5. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Hey, I'm still a teen, and I resent that!

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    I agree - I don't think they should be kept away from other teens but I DO think that they should be given the mental tools to see that teen counterculture for what it is and not let themselves get drawn into it.

    Yeah I am likely one of those. I learned social skills artificially and with the help of my mother, and I still did weird shit. (And throw ASDish fits and tear out handfuls of my own hair. In front of a group of kids, no less.)
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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  8. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you for a VERY interesting and fact-filled source!!!

    And here's a quote from the notes on that series of productions which squarely points out EXACTLY what I've been saying all the way through this thread which contains a lot of speculative comments that simply do NOT match up with reality:

    "The Science:
    Scientists are now realising that risk taking is actually a crucial phase of adolescence. By taking risks we force
    our brains to make decisions which allow our brains to grow. Until recently it was thought that the brain was
    fully developed by the time a child reached their teen years. We now know that the adult brain isn’t fully
    formed until well into a person’s twenties.
    This period of brain growth is central to carving out the future
    individual adult. But it also means that certain regions of the brain are still under construction. The brain’s
    ‘brakes’ don’t yet work, which lead teens to making some poor decisions.
    "

    (The italics are mine and were added for emphasis.)
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    My parents limited my contact with teens by the heavy-handed route of living out in the middle of nowhere so there were no neighbor kids. I only got to interact with my peers during school hours. (This was in the 1950s when we didn't have cars and cell phones.) I grew up very poorly socialized.
    What parents need to give their children is something of a much different nature and scope than these things. They need to give them hope and promise. This isn't something they can scroll up on the internet or convey in a few buzzword-loaded pep talks. When kids look around at the world the grownups are leaving to them, can you blame them for not having a healthy, positive outlook, and not being entirely certain that living for a long time is the best choice?
    Then I guess you don't want me to tell you what it's like at 66.

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    I'm not so sure about that. Of course some of it is rampant hormones and the process of learning perspective. But some of it is also the attitudes toward responsibility that are presented by the culture. When kids see entire nations not giving a damn about greenhouse gases, other nations trying to retreat into a pre-Enlightenment fantasy, and still others being driven into war and bankruptcy by unfettered corporate greed, don't you think that has a profound effect on their chance of attaining inner peace?

    My generation grew up with duck-and-cover drills as the best defense against a nuclear attack. We talked about how stupid it was to be learning how to diagram sentences when this could be the last day of our lives.
    Indeed. When adults act like children do we tell children to act like adults, or not to? And either way, does it matter? Of course we expect every generation to be a little bit better than the last one, that's how civilization progresses. But how do you tell children they have to be a hell of a lot better than us?
    Any man who tries to answer this question had better duck and cover.
    My parents never took a risk and they instilled that attitude in me. As an adult I was afraid to take the risks inherent in investing in real estate or the stock market. Fortunately my wife came along and helped me get over that (the words "kicking and screaming" come to mind) or today I would be one miserably impoverished soon-to-be-retiree.
     
  10. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, I did - and I think I handled it quite well and fairly.

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  11. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    I tend to agree, though I have always suspected there is a myth of the male brain as well. It's convenient as it lets us justify our wandering eye and blame out lack of self-control on a quirk of biology rather than a lack of willpower.
     
  12. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    You do have to remember though not all people are the same.

    People are individuals, some teens are very reckless (I was one of those, still am very reckless), some are quite fearful and refuse to take even small risks, still others are in between those extremes.
     
  13. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Sure. I believe somewhere in this thread I said that there are *always* exceptions to everything.
     
  14. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    But making poor decisions doesn't always mean one is reckless. I was not at all a reckless teen. I was very well behaved and very responsible even when my parents were not around. But that didn't absolve me from making some poor choices, these ideas that made perfect sense to me. No matter how much my mother or father kept trying to guide me into making a better choice, what they were saying just didn't make sense. I wasn't purposely rebelling or anything, but what they were saying just didn't seem logical to me. So of course I did it my way, which I found out first hand was not the best way. When I think about it now nearly 7 years later, I can't even understand what my reasoning for that particular decision was. Whatever I was thinking at 15 makes no sense to me now.

    If the research is correct, I assume it might be because my brain was wired differently at 15 than it is now. Just like how a three year old's brain is wired differently than a 15 year old's. Through both experience and different thinking processes, a 15 year old can easily understand how it is possible for someone with a birthday in November to be older than someone with a birthday in May. Most three year olds find the logic in that faulty and it doesn't make sense to them. And no matter how much you explain and explain about people being born different years, they just nod, but they don't really get it. All they know is that May is before November, and people born before are older than people born after. I think limited knowledge that only comes with experience, and having a different thought process causes teens to make choices that adults know to be illogical or not well thought out also. Even though the teenager can believe the choice to be completely logical and they may have spent a great deal of time thinking it over.
     
  15. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm, I don't remember having problems with making poor decisions. But like I said everyone is different, though I didn't have that problem I was VERY reckless and did a lot of stupid things in the heat of the moment.

    Still do, I'm just a few degrees better at controlling it...
     
  16. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    Isn't that the same thing as making a poor decision?
     
  17. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I was just about to say the same thing. (Yes, it is.)
     
  18. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah I guess you're right, it comes down to that problem of not having the brakes on yet. (with impulse control)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Including that statement.

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  20. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, Fraggle, I may be getting sleepy (11:45pm here) but I don't follow.
     
  21. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Neither do I...
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You made the statement that every categorical statement has exceptions. I pointed out that your statement itself is categorical and therefore must be recursive. Therefore, not everything will have an exception.

    I've said it more concisely: "There are no absolutes in life, including this one."

    Not exactly on topic so excuse me for beating it to death.
     
  23. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    That's fine - I can buy that with no problems at all.

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    (And every single thing gets repeated again and again at some point.)

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    (And then yet again...)
     

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