Natasha Duell is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Developmental Science and the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies adolescent decision-making and risk taking. Her research is driven by the general question: How can researchers and communities help adolescents take advantage of the characteristics inherent to their development and direct them towards behaviors and opportunities that facilitate their well-being?

Natasha’s previous work has examined age differences in risk taking as a function of peoples’ self-regulatory capacities and sensitivity to reward. She has also had the opportunity to place her research in the context of culture, examining risk behavior and its psychological correlates in cross-national samples. More recently, Natasha has explored the construct of positive risk taking in adolescence: what it is, how to measure it, and to what extent it benefits adolescents’ well-being. Her work in this domain has also examined the shared and unique psychological correlates of positive and negative forms of risk taking. In the coming years, Natasha plans to examine the neural correlates and social moderators of positive risk taking and prosocial decision-making among adolescents. Her current work utilizes self-report and behavioral indices of psychological functioning and behavior. In her future work, she intends to integrate sociometric and biological (i.e., hormonal and fMRI) methodologies. Visit this site to stay up to date on Natasha’s most recent projects and publications. 

Natasha is currently working with the Developmental Social Neuroscience lab (Director: Dr. Eva Telzer) at UNC Chapel Hill. Check out the lab and their projects here.