Decision Making Study

What’s this Study All About?

This experiment looks at the way individuals make decisions about taking risks. It employs fMRI to create images of which parts of the brain are active during specific decision-making tasks.

Who is Running the Experiment?

This study will take place at Temple University Hospital and is run by the the Nerurocognition Lab at Temple University. The Principal Investigators are Jason Chein, Ph.D. (Psychology Department, Temple University) and Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D. (Psychology Department, Temple University, and director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice).

Who Can Participate?

To participate in the Decision Making Study you must be between the ages of 14-35 and be able to come to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia with two friends who are of the same gender and approximate age as you. If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will need to complete consent forms and must be present, or reachable by phone, during the entire duration of the experiment. The experiment usually takes about two hours to complete.

Why Participate in this Experiment?

Studying decision making as it pertains to risk-taking is particularly important among adolescents and young adults since individuals in these age groups tend to engage in risky behavior more frequently than those in other groups. Gaining insight into the brain regions involved in adolescent decision-making may help in the formation of better designed social and educational programs aimed at combating risky behavior among teens and young adults. You will also receive a minimum of $50 compensation for your participation.

What can I Expect?

During the experiment you will be asked to play two different computer games while lying in the scanner. While you are in the scanner, your two friends will play the same computer games in another room. To learn more about what it’s like to be in the scanner, click here. Once you arrive at the imaging center and complete the necessary paperwork, we will show you demonstrations of the computer games so you’ll know what to expect and how to play. Before entering the scanning room we’ll ask you to remove all metal objects from your body and store them in a locker.

Who do I Contact?

If you are interested in participating in the Decision Making Study, please send an e-mail with your name, age, and phone number to Please put "Decision Making" in the subject line of your email. You can also call: 215-204-1429.

To sign up, please click here.


© 2009 Temple University Neurocognition Laboratory
805 Weiss Hall, 1701 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085
(215) 204-1429