Why college students break pandemic rules


As colleges and universities throughout the country begin in-person classes, we have seen a jump in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus. Some blame the students, who decided to break pandemic rules by attending parties and not wearing protective masks. So why the risky behavior?


Madison College psychology instructor Dr. Jenna Behm-Lawton says college students are more prone to make in-the-moment decisions because they're wired that way. During adolescence and into adulthood, research shows the brain region most sensitive to social rewards develops at a much faster rate than the part of the brain responsible for rational decision making.


Behm-Lawton was recently interviewed by Channel 3 (WISC-TV) and Channel 15 (WMTV-TV) about college students' decision making. She says getting young adults to listen starts with clear expectations and understanding.