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decorative star graphic Adolescence:
Cognitive Development
- Adolescent Thought -

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New New Intellectual Powers

  • Piaget thought adolescents begin to reach formal operational thought.
  • In Piaget's theory formal operational thought is the 4th & final stage of cognitive development due to maturation.
  • Adolescents demonstrate a capacity for hypothetical thought, that is, thought that involves reasoning about propositions that may or may not reflect reality.
      Types of reasoning: (Basic Logic)
    • Inductive - reasoning from one or more specific experiences or facts to a general conclusion.
    • Deductive - reasoning from a general statement or principle, through logical steps, to a specific conclusion. A standard test of deductive reasoning is Piaget's balance-scale task.
  • Adolescents make the step up from inductive reasoning to deductive reasoning.

Ψ   The dual Ė process model of cognition has two modes: intuitive & analytic.

•  The intuitive mode begins with prior belief, past experience, or common assumption, rather than with a logical premise.

•  The analytic mode is the formal, logical. Hypothetical-deductive thinking described by Piaget.

Thinking About Oneself  or  Its All About Me

Ψ  Adolescent egocentrism is a characteristic of adolescent thinking that sometimes leads young people to focus on themselves to the exclusion of all others, believing that their thoughts, feelings, or experiences are unique.

Ψ  False assumptions of the adolescent egocentric follow:
New The Invincibility Fable - keeps enlistment rates in the military high
 New The Personal Fable - uniqueness & assured success
  New The Imaginary Audience - everyone is watching me

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Ψ   Sunk-cost Fallacy (another example of the difficulty of thinking scientifically.)

•   When one makes a hopeless investment, one sometimes reasons: I canít stop now, otherwise what Iíve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest in the project. Adolescents are better than younger children at recognizing this fallacy.

Lifespan Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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