In this computerized task, an individual must “drive” a car to a destination under time pressure. Along the way are a series of crossroads, and at each one the person must decide whether to run a yellow light, which turns red after a variable amount of time, or to stop and wait for the light to turn red and then green. The goal is to get to a destination as quickly as possible in order to win a prize. Time is saved if the person successfully runs the yellow light, whereas time is lost when the light turns red and the person crashes into another car at the intersection. The relative gain of successfully running the light vs. the loss of crashing are varied across trials. Risk preference would be measured by how many times an individual chooses to run the red as compared to stopping. Risk evaluation will be examined by looking at the degree to which an individual’s behavior is affected by the varying costs and benefits of running the red vs. avoiding a crash.
Steinberg, L., Albert, D., Cauffman, E., Banich, M., Graham, S., & Woolard, J. (2008). Age differences in sensation seeking and impulsivity as indexed by behavior and self-report: Evidence for a dual systems model. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1764–1778