Wednesday, September 4, 2013

PLN 2: "What's Wrong with the Teenage Mind" by Alison Gopnik

PLN 2: "What's Wrong with the Teenage Mind" by Alison Gopnik


The article written by Alison Gopnik, “What’s Wrong with the Teenage Mind” suggests that teenagers are going into puberty sooner and are reaching adulthood later.  One main idea is that students are starting to overestimate rewards now, which might be related to changes in energy balance.  Kids are underestimating risks due to a safe lifestyle they live in their parents care.  The other big point seen in the article is that kids are not growing up the way kids used to, which creates less chances to learn basic skills.

Alison Gopnik’s, “What’s Wrong with the Teenage Mind” continuously stresses the opinion that teenagers are not who they used to be.  Gopnik constantly presented her point of view that teenagers are worse than they should be by describing that our view of rewards are much higher than adults or kids, which means teens find rewards more appealing than other age groups.  Evidence to the fact is that when teens took a driving test with a fMRI-brain imaging device on them, the reward section of the brain lighted up more when the teen thought another teen was watching. Adults think teens want social rewards, like a new car or being popular at school.  The truth is that kids want respect from their parents, older siblings, and other adults. Another issue that came up is that parents want kids to excel in life.  About half a century ago, kids had internships at age seven, and now teens can’t get internships at age 17.  Why? The job owners want interns or job applicants who have more experience in the field, so teens cannot get ahead in life if the world simply will not let them. One last problem is that teens make mistakes, but that’s all about learning through them because that is how an average teenager is supposed to turn into a mature adult.  For example, kids may get bad grades or drive a car through a fence because they did something wrong, but they will learn from the experience.  According to Gopnik, studies show that human children are more reliant on adults than any other animal.  Is that really okay?  During teenage years, the body and mind go through puberty, and kids want to learn more things, which is a good thing.  So why can’t teens go out and try new things and learn from them because kids are going through puberty sooner and growing into adults later.


  1. Grant-

    Good ideas for your summary, but make sure you are using your own words. End with a concluding sentence.

    Good idea in your response topic sentence, but make sure to add a why statement. Really strong arguments made throughout your response. Well said. Make sure you end with a concluding sentence.

    Eliminate personal words