Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

The fact Gloria’s son is a teenager makes him have a teenage brain. His prefrontal cortex gaps behind his emotional limbic system and so he has puberty emotional surges due to his developing limbic system. Teenagers usually struggle with the ability to understand essential decision-making skills and consideration of the outcomes of their actions because of their incompletely developed prefrontal cortexes. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that a person uses in decision making. Therefore, its incomplete development in teenagers hinders them from making the right decision like the case of Gloria’s son.

The young boy emphasizes immediate acceptance and gratification rather than studying and resolving significant decisions. It is generally hard for teenagers to comprehend the long-term outcomes of their actions because they are usually more focused on the immediate impacts of their actions. Partly developed prefrontal cortex and lack of personal social development may be the reason why Gloria’s son has demonstrated a pattern of poor decision making.

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What specific strategies can Gloria use to help her son make better decisions?

To improve her son’s ability to make the right decisions, Gloria needs to establish specific rules and regulations and well-explained possible consequences for his son. This may help his son develop impulsive thinking and ability to relate facts, Gloria will have to discuss and explain to him the potential and exact consequences of all his actions. This will make her son connect his actions and the results, then after he may understand the precise outcomes, he could face for making poor decisions.

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She should sample out and explain some of the impacts on the young teen, which may include him hurting himself and others or even getting arrested by the police. Gloria will also need to be involved in her son’s activities to ensure they don’t make bad decisions on impulses.

From what you have learned about human development and self-regulation, why do you think these strategies will be effective?

Gloria’s explanation of the consequences and actions to him helps him to make rational decisions since his brain can make the connection between the actions and their terminal outcomes. Knowing her son’s peers and their parents help her to have partners in the voice of reason. Establishing that relationship with her son’s peers and their families help her gauge what may be going on his life and where he spends his personal time. Another benefit in establishing these relationships is they can present feedback possibly revealing activities her son was involved in. Chaperoning the upcoming event or party will help Gloria in monitoring her son’s drinking and risky behavior in an environment where he associates with his peers. This can provide her with an opportunity to try and guide her son to develop a rational decision-making process.

How does Reggie’s mindset affect the way that he prepares for the compliance test?

Ones mindset can influence what he or she thinks about themselves. This plays a role in determining whether the individual has a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. People who exhibit a fixed mindset often believe their abilities are fixed traits while those showing a Growth mindset believe in the ability to learn and grow. Reggie demonstrates a Fixed mindset, which makes him think that a person is born smart or in a certain way and “unable to learn new things in life.” He believes that his talents are fixed traits. His fixed mind hinders his ability to learn and develop new skills with an attitude that “you cannot teach an old man new tricks.” He tries the compliance test guided by the feeling that he cannot learn new things and it is quite difficult for him to learn. These negative beliefs and comments about his abilities increase his anxiety and stress levels.

Use brain plasticity (neuroplasticity) to explain how Reggie can start to develop a growth mindset. What can Reggie do to actually change his brain so that he can adopt a growth mindset approach?

The human brain is like a muscle, and that is why it can grow and develop more. Reggie’s current mindset that it is difficult for anyone to teach old men new tricks. To change and adopt a growth mindset, Reggie needs to build flexibility of his brain by changing his behavior and way of thinking so that his mind makes connections in between neurons any time he sees or learns something new. He can focus on taking some time to study for the upcoming test and ensure that he learns something new every day. This will strengthen his brain and enable it to grow with all the new things learn each day. He will also need to take some daily micro-steps to allow him to attain his goal of passing the compliance test. Even, Reggie can think of his entire future against the current short-term moments, which will enable him to develop and adopt a growth mindset. He also needs to change his negative comments and thoughts and foster positivity reasoning and attitude. For example, his comments and belief on his difficulty to learn a different way can a bee be enriched by adding the phrase though I can learn new things and adjust to them by taking some of my time to study.

Suggest at least three study strategies that Reggie can use to study for the compliance test. Based on what you have learned about memory in Chapter 4, explain why these would be effective study techniques.

First, Reggie should consider doing a spaced study rather than cramming everything. This will help enable his brain to retain bits of information, making him remember whatever he learns. Thus, he will be able to maintain what he has studied since his encoding is well-disturbed over time. Secondly, Reggie can consider doing repeated self-testing to improve his learning habits. Repeated self-testing will enhance his brain’s ability to retrieve information learned. One way he can do this by using rhythmic words or peg words or words that strengthen ones ability to remember them for an extended amount of time. Lastly, Reggie should give himself enough rest to give his brain time to retain the newly learned information. Lack of sleep can affect the brain and hinder its ability to process recently gained content.

What are the big five personality traits? When thinking about the big five personality traits, on which ones do Gloria and Lakeisha differ the most?

For Gloria to regulate her emotions and work more effectively with Lakeisha, she needs to think about her feelings and why she is feeling them. She should be able to examine whether her feelings relate with her unpreparedness for the job or other things. Gloria shows signs of anxiety disorder, which brings her old memories about previous experience. This memory of the past adverse experience reaction is the reason why she is always anxious.

Give some advice to Gloria. How can she use emotional regulation to work more effectively with Lakeisha? Give at least two things that Gloria can do and provide a rationale for why these will be effective.

To change her emotions, Gloria needs to change what she is thinking about. She can pause and ask herself, why am I feeling this way? This can help her to change the speculation about Lakeisha’s’stake about her being lazy or stupid. She can also take some time to learn more from Lakeisha. She should also take time and think about the project, make her list, and compare It with that of Lakiesha with her permission. She should also be keen to replace any negative thought with a positive one and consider the befits of working with an organized person like Lakeisha. Also, before going to ask for her removal from the project, Gloria should think about what is causing her to exhibit such emotions because what someone feels affects how he or she thinks and responds. She can always think about all the good things she did in the past rather than keeping negative memories with her previous employees.


  • Myers, D. (2017). Psychology (4th ed.). Asheville, NC: Soomo Learning. Available from hMp://www.webtexts.com

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Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. (2019, Dec 03). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/teen-brain-behavior-problem-solving-and-decision-making-essay

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