Article Critique Guidelines and Rubric Overview 

Article Critique Guidelines and Rubric. Overview Articles are written to inform, misinform, influence, or misdirect, among other reasons…

Article Critique Guidelines and Rubric Overview 


Articles are written to inform, misinform, influence, or misdirect, among other reasons. Sometimes they serve as nothing more than a vehicle for an author to achieve fame, notoriety, and wealth. 

You should never take at face value the elements of any article you read, but you should be able to: 

• Differentiate between fact and opinion • Recognize and evaluate author bias and rhetoric • Determine cause-and-effect relationships • Determine accuracy and completeness of the information presented • Recognize logical fallacies and faulty reasoning

• Compare and contrast information and points of view • Develop inferential skills • Make judgments and draw logical conclusions When writing an article critique, you will need to summarize, evaluate, and offer critical comment on the ideas and information that the author(s) presents in the article. 

Starting in Module Two, you are assigned two articles to read, which are located in Module Resources for that specific module. You have to select one of the two articles and write a critique of it. 

In your paper, cite any and all information taken from the article or any other references used. Your goal should be to read and understand the article, analyze the findings or arguments, and evaluate and comment on the article

Article Critique


Risk Taking in Adolescence: New Perspectives from Brain and Behavioral Science

By Laurence Steiberg

The author discusses why adolescents tend to engage in risky behavior more than younger and older people. This topic is vital in seeking initiatives and interventions to reduce and prevent risky behaviors among adolescents. According to the author, psychologists have experienced many challenges while contemplating adolescents’ inclination towards risky behavior.

The author disputes adolescents’ risk behavior’s association with ignorance, irrationality, and delusions of invulnerability. He presents new perspectives into why adolescents engage in risky behavior more than younger and older individuals. An interaction between a socioemotional network and a cognitive-control network is the main reason why adolescents incline towards risky behaviors.

The author justifies this argument by highlighting reasons why interventions that involve changing adolescent’s knowledge, beliefs, and attitude, attempting to influence their risky behaviors, have been ineffective. The article also presents false leads in risk-taking research. It disputes all research studies that perceive adolescents as irrational individuals, unware, unconcerned, and inattentive of the harm associated with their risky behavior.

The author argues that adolescents can reason almost like adults in analyzing risky behavior, but the response to rewards, excitement, peer presence, and pleasure feeling makes the difference. Also, adolescents and adults use different information while making their decisions. 

The author reviews multiple literature materials that provide evidence and support his argument. He draws evidence and perspectives from studies on developmental neuroscience and behavioral science. Based on evidence from developmental neuroscience, the author provides supportive arguments of how the interaction between a socioemotional network and a cognitive control network influences adolescents’ risky behavior.

The author posits that adolescents are highly sensitive to social and emotional stimuli due to the hormonal changes of puberty. The article highlights brain parts associated with the socioemotional network, including the paralimbic, limbic, and interior regions and those associated with cognitive control. According to the author, the cognitive-control network is largely independent of puberty and tends to mature into adulthood.

Drevets and Raichle (1998) posit that adolescence is a period when the socioemotional network becomes more assertive, and the cognitive-control network that regulates impulsive and risky behavior strengthens progressively and gradually over a long period.

The article also argues that the brain regions activated when exposed to social and emotional stimuli overlap considerably with those more assertive to variations in reward magnitude (Galvan, et al., 2005; Nelson, Leibenluft, McClure, & Pine, 2005).

This concept explains why adolescent risk-taking, such as engagement in drug use, reckless driving, and delinquency, happens in groups (Steinberg, 2004).

The author provides more evidence from behavioral science about the contribution of the imbalance between socioemotional arousal and cognitive control in adolescents’ risky behavior. He also analyzes peer influence by looking into emotional arousal when individuals are left alone and around peers.

According to Millstein and Halpern-Felsher (2002), risky behavior engagement is more prevalent around peers due to higher emotional arousal and peer influence.

The brain system associated with reward, social information, and emotional regulation is more assertive during adolescence. The cognitive-control network matures gradually, explaining why adults are less inclined towards risky behavior than adolescents (Casey, Tottenham, Liston, & Durston, 2005). The presentation of new perspectives drawing evidence from multiple research materials has implications for prevention.

The author concludes that trying to change adolescent knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs is not effective in preventing and regulating risky behavior during adolescence and recommends strategies that limit the opportunities of immature judgment with harmful consequences.

The author believes that strategies such as increasing the price of cigarettes, limiting alcohol sell to adolescents, expanding access to mental health and contraceptives, and raising the driving age can be more effective because they reduce the opportunities for risky behavior.

The information provided is highly thoughtful and reflective. The author offers insights and new perspectives of how psychologists and other stakeholders can regulate risky behavior among adolescents. Indeed many strategies that aim at changing the adolescent’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs have been ineffective.

For instance, about 90% of all adolescents receive drug and alcohol use and sex education, but most still engage in drug and alcohol abuse and unprotected sex. The author argues that logical-reasoning capabilities have almost fully developed by age 15 years and not any different from that of adults. The reward sensitivity is high at puberty, and the only way to prevent risky behavior is by limiting and reducing the opportunities to exercise it.

The article is reliable as it presents a review of multiple research studies supporting the argument. It draws evidence from valid scientific fields, developmental neuroscience, and behavioral science to show how brain functioning and development alters an individual’s behavior throughout human development.

The article has its limitations. The author disputes all interventions that seek to change adolescents’ knowledge, attitude, and behavior, terming them ineffective. These interventions are not entirely useless as they have been applied in many behavioral control centers with a significant success rate.

Some adolescents tend to change their perspectives about issues during drug and alcohol abuse and sex education (Lo et al., 2019; MoreiraI et al., 2015).

The article almost entirely focuses on adolescents that engage in risky behavior without explaining those who are less aroused around peers or are more aware and cautious about engaging in risky behavior. It does not bring into account parental influence in an adolescent’s engagement in risky activities.

The author does not show whether some adolescents are more mature than others.

He does not also include other factors other than socioemotional assertiveness and immaturity that contribute to most adolescents’ risky behavior involvement. The author does not consider the possibility of the recommended strategies contributing to other risky behaviors like stealing to accumulate money to buy high-priced cigarettes. The author does not consider the fact that adolescents tend to break rules.

Increasing regulations can increase the tendency of risky behaviors. Quantitative data and adolescents’ involvement in the study would make the evidence more concrete and inferential.


Casey, B.J., Tottenham, N., Liston, C., & Durston, S. (2005). Imaging the developing brain: What have we learned about cognitive development? Trends in Cognitive Science, 9, 104–110.

Drevets, W.C., & Raichle, M.E. (1998). Reciprocal suppression of regional cerebral blood flow during emotional versus higher cognitive processes: Implications for interactions between emotion and cognition. Cognition and Emotion, 12, 353–385.   

Galvan, A., Hare, T., Davidson, M., Spicer, J., Glover, G., & Casey, B.J. (2005). The role of ventral frontostriatal circuitry in reward-based learning in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 8650–8656. 

Lo, T. W., Tse, J. W., Cheng, C. H., & Chan, G. H. (2019). The association between substance abuse and sexual misconduct among Macau youths. International journal of environmental research and public health16(9), 1643.  

Millstein, S.G., & Halpern-Felsher, B.L. (2002). Perceptions of risk and vulnerability. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31S, 10–27.

MoreiraI, A., VóvioI, C. L., & De Michelil, D. (2015). Drug abuse prevention in school: challenges and. Education and Research, 41(1), 120.

Nelson, E., Leibenluft, E., McClure, E., & Pine, D. (2005). The social re-orientation of adolescence: A neuroscience perspective on the process and its relation to psychopathology. Psychological Medicine, 35, 163–174.

Article Critique

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Cathy, CS.