Can Adolescents Predict Significant Life Events?

Published in: Journal of Adolescent Health, v. 41, no. 2, Aug. 2007, p. 208-210

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Andrew M. Parker, Baruch Fischhoff

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The authors examine whether adolescents' probability judgments for significant life events are predictive and accurate. We find significant correlations with actual experiences, reported on successive waves of a national survey. Mean probability judgments approximated observed outcome rates, or were optimistic, except that adolescents greatly overestimated their probability of dying prematurely.

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