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Title: Emerging%20Adulthood:%20Cognitive%20Development

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
  • evaluates whether a new stage or level is
    reachedpostformal 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
  • a proposed adult stage of cognitive development
  • by being more practical, more flexible, and more
  • more capable of combing contradictory elements
    into a comprehensive whole

Postformal Thought
  • The Fifth Stage
  • self-protectivehigh in self-involvement, low in
  • complexvaluing openness and independence above
  • integratedable to regulate emotions and logic

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 Thought
  • Consolidating Emotions and Logic
  • complex problem solving is the crucial
    intellectual accomplishment of adulthood
  • combining affect (emotion) and logic (cognition)

Postformal Thought
  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • the ability
  • to be practical
  • to predict
  • to plan
  • to combine objective and subjective mental

Postformal Thought
  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • plans can go awry
  • corporate restructuring
  • failure of birth control
  • parents illness
  • adults with cognitive flexibility avoid
    retreating into either emotions or intellect

Postformal Thought
  • cognitive flexibility
  • problem-solving
  • talking through problems with others
  • changing your mind once you made a mistake
  • behavioral changes

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 Thought
  • Countering Stereotypes
  • cognitive flexibility
  • to change ones childhood assumptions
  • younger adults hold less gender-stereotyped views
  • stereotype threat
  • the possibility that ones appearance or behavior
    will be misread to confirm another persons
    oversimplified prejudiced attitudes

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
  • makes possible an ongoing awareness of pros and
    cons, advantages and disadvantages, possibilities
    and limitations

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 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 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 Thought
  • A Broken Love Affair
  • dialectical thinkers
  • see people and relationships as constantly
  • partners are changed by time as well as by their

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
  • adult responsibilities, experiences, and
    education affect moral reasoning and religious
  • maturation of values appears first in emerging
    adulthood and continues through middle age.

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 Religion
  • the power of culture makes if difficult to assess
    whether adults morality changes with age
  • moral thinking improves with age

Morals and Religion
Dilemmas for Emerging Adults
  • sex
  • sexuality
  • reproduction
  • relationships
  • contraception
  • abortion
  • drugs
  • education
  • vocation

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 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
  • 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 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 Education
  • Evaluating the Changes
  • what do todays students get out of attending
  • colleges no longer produce the great
    intellectual flexibility that earlier research

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

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
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