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Part VI. Chapter Eighteen. Emerging Adulthood: Cognitive Development . Postformal Thought Morals and Religion Cognitive Growth and Higher Education. Cognitive Development in Emerging Adulthood. Cognitive development can be described as the… stage approach

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part vi

Part VI

Chapter Eighteen

Emerging Adulthood: Cognitive Development

Postformal Thought

Morals and Religion

Cognitive Growth and Higher Education

Prepared by Madeleine Lacefield Tattoon, M.A.

cognitive development in emerging adulthood
Cognitive Development in Emerging Adulthood
  • Cognitive development can be described as the…
    • stage approach
      • evaluates whether a new stage or level is reached—postformal stage of thinking and reasoning in adulthood
    • psychometric approach
      • analyzes intelligence by means of IQ tests and other measures
    • information-processing approach
      • studies how the brain encodes, stores, and retrieves information
postformal thought
Postformal Thought
  • Postformal thought
    • a proposed adult stage of cognitive development
    • by being more practical, more flexible, and more dialectical
    • more capable of combing contradictory elements into a comprehensive whole
postformal thought4
Postformal Thought
  • The Fifth Stage
    • self-protective—high in self-involvement, low in self-doubt
    • complex—valuing openness and independence above all
    • integrated—able to regulate emotions and logic
postformal thought5
Postformal Thought
  • Combining Subjective and Objective Thought
    • subjective thought
      • rises from the personal experiences and perceptions of an individual
    • objective thought
      • devalues subjective feelings, personal faith, and emotional experience while overvaluing objective, logical thinking
postformal thought6
Postformal Thought
  • Consolidating Emotions and Logic
    • complex problem solving is the crucial intellectual accomplishment of adulthood
    • combining affect (emotion) and logic (cognition)
postformal thought7
Postformal Thought
  • Cognitive Flexibility
    • the ability…
      • to be practical
      • to predict
      • to plan
      • to combine objective and subjective mental processes
postformal thought8
Postformal Thought
  • Cognitive Flexibility
    • plans can go awry:
      • corporate restructuring
      • failure of birth control
      • parent’s illness
    • adults with cognitive flexibility avoid retreating into either emotions or intellect
postformal thought9
Postformal Thought
  • cognitive flexibility
    • problem-solving
    • talking through problems with others
    • changing your mind once you made a mistake
    • behavioral changes
postformal thought10
Postformal Thought
  • cognitive flexibility
    • more likely to imagine several solutions for every problem and then choose the best one
    • research on problem-solving abilities concludes that emerging adults are better problem solvers than both adolescents and the oldest adults
postformal thought11
Postformal Thought
  • Countering Stereotypes
    • cognitive flexibility
      • to change one’s childhood assumptions
      • younger adults hold less gender-stereotyped views
    • stereotype threat
      • the possibility that one’s appearance or behavior will be misread to confirm another person’s oversimplified prejudiced attitudes
postformal thought12
Postformal Thought
  • Dialectical Thought
    • a most advanced cognitive process, characterized by the ability to consider a thesis and its antithesis simultaneously and thus to arrive at a synthesis
    • makes possible an ongoing awareness of pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, possibilities and limitations
postformal thought13
Postformal Thought
  • Dialectical Thought
    • thesis
      • a proposition or statement of belief; the first stage of the process of dialectical thinking
    • antithesis
      • a proposition or statement of belief that opposes the thesis; the second stage of the process of dialectical thinking
postformal thought14
Postformal Thought
  • Dialectical Thought
    • synthesis
      • a new idea that integrates the thesis and its antithesis, thus representing a new and more comprehensive level of truth; the third stage of the process of dialectical thinking
postformal thought15
Postformal Thought
  • A “Broken” Love Affair
    • nondialectical thinker
      • likely to believe that each person has stable, independent traits
      • concludes that one partner is at fault
      • a mistake from the beginning – “bad match”
postformal thought16
Postformal Thought
  • A “Broken” Love Affair
    • dialectical thinkers:
      • see people and relationships as constantly evolving
      • partners are changed by time as well as by their interaction
postformal thought17
Postformal Thought
  • Culture and Dialectics
    • dialectical thought affects priorities and values
    • notable differences in culture are the result of nature, not nurture
    • “cognitive differences have ecological, historical, and sociological origins"
morals and religion
Morals and Religion
  • adult responsibilities, experiences, and education affect moral reasoning and religious beliefs.
  • maturation of values appears first in emerging adulthood and continues through middle age.
morals and religion19
Morals and Religion
  • morals and culture
    • morals
      • affected by circumstance, including national background, culture, and era
    • culture
      • determines whether a particular practice is a moral issue
morals and religion20
Morals and Religion
  • the power of culture makes if difficult to assess whether adults morality changes with age
  • moral thinking improves with age
morals and religion21
sex

sexuality

reproduction

relationships

contraception

abortion

drugs

education

vocation

Morals and Religion

Dilemmas for Emerging Adults

morals and religion22
Morals and Religion
  • Stages of Faith – James Fowler
    • Stage 1: Intuitive projective faith
    • Stage 2: Mythic-literal faith
    • Stage 3: Synthetic-conventional faith
    • Stage 4: Individual-reflective faith
    • Stage 5: Conjunctive faith
    • Stage 6: Universalizing faith
morals and religion23
Morals and Religion
  • Stages of Faith – James Fowler
    • …faith progresses from a simple, self-centered, one-sided perspective to a more complex, altruistic (unselfish) and many-sided view.
    • …faith is one way people combat stress, overcome adversity, and analyze challenges.
cognitive growth and higher education
Cognitive Growth and Higher Education
  • The Effects of College
    • students attend college
      • to secure better jobs, learn specific skills
      • general education
    • college correlates with
      • better health
      • less smoking
      • better eating
      • more exercise
      • longer life
cognitive growth and higher education25
Cognitive Growth and Higher Education
  • Changes in the College Context
    • the fact that colleges and universities are designed to foster cognitive growth does not necessarily mean that they succeed
  • Changes in the Student
    • students and social structures change over time
  • Changes in the Institutions
    • current colleges offer more career programs and hire more part-time faculty
cognitive growth and higher education26
Cognitive Growth and Higher Education
  • Evaluating the Changes
    • what do today’s students get out of attending college?
    • colleges no longer produce the “great intellectual flexibility” that earlier research found
cognitive growth and higher education27
Cognitive Growth and Higher Education
  • Evaluating the Changes
    • Diversity and Enrollment
      • evidence on cognition suggests that interactions with people of different backgrounds and various views lead to intellectual challenges and deeper thought
cognitive growth and higher education28
Cognitive Growth and Higher Education
  • Evaluating the Changes
    • Graduates and Dropouts
      • many young students lack the cultural knowledge or cognitive maturity to acquire the “social know-how” needed to navigate through college
      • some “adapt to complexities better as they proceed through college…”