In the film noir classic Double Indemnity, insurance agents are presented as cold-blooded in their pursuit of the facts. But it wasn’t until I saw a recent advertisement for Allstate, the insurance company, that I realized how seriously insurance agents take neuroscience. Allstate was advising parents to vote for graduated driver-licensing laws because teenagers’ “dorsal lateral prefrontal cortexes” are immature.
There’s a reason, as this ad implies, that there are age brackets for auto insurance premiums. We drive the way we do because of our brains, which start off immature, pass through an all-too-brief peak and, often, descend slowly into decrepitude.