The Effects Of Peer Pressure Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

Peer pressure is something that everyone has faced at one time or another. It can happen at any age, but usually affects teenagers the most. Throughout junior high and high school teenagers are desperate to fit in. For example a group of four friends goes to the gas station after school. Three of the girls take a candy bar and slide it in their pocket. They told the fourth girl, Jenny, to go ahead and take one too. Jenny had never done anything like this before and she knows that it is not right. She is new to this school and she wants these girls to like her ,so she goes ahead and does it anyway. This is a perfect example of what teenagers do when they get around their friends. They try to ...view middle of the document...

They were in a brain scanner while playing and if they completed the game in a certain amount of time they were rewarded with a cash prize (Parker-Pope, 2011).
The player had to make snap judgements about whether to stop at yellow lights, or if they could make it through without it turning red. If they went through the yellow light they would get done faster and receive the cash price, but it would be riskier and there would be a higher chance of an accident. Laurence Steinberg, a researcher at Temple University, states, “During early adolescence imparticular, teenagers are drawn to the immediate reward of a potential choice and are less attentive to the possible risks. Second, teenagers in general are still learning to control their impulses, to think ahead, and to resist pressures from others” but these skills will be developed later on in life (“Peer Pressure: Its Influence on Teens and Decision Making”, 2008). Half of the time they were completing the course they were alone and the other half of the time they were informed that two peers were watching in another room (Parker-Pope, 2011).
The results of the study showed that peer pressure does not have a large effect on adults or college students but does have a major effect on teenagers. Peer pressure affects teenagers more because “brain changes shortly after puberty appear to make young people more attentive and aware of what other people are thing about them” (Parker-Pope, 2011). Teenagers had "60% more crashes and ran 40%" more yellow lights while their peers were present (Parker-Pope, 2011). The teenagers’ had increased activity in the parts of the brain that deal with reward while their peers were watching. A professor, Dr. Steinberg, at Temple University says that he believes he has found a new view on peer pressure. He believes this because during the experiment the peers were not even in the same room as the person who was playing the video. Just the thought of them watching put pressure on the player to make riskier decisions (Parker-Pope, 2011).
The results have concerned parents and made them think about their own child in these types of situations. It does not matter if a teenagers makes good or bad decisions,...

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