rcg rcg rcg rcg rcg rcgates.com Knowledge Click here to return to rcgates.com's home page.

Plastic Intellectual Change

    Intellectual abilities are characterized by their plasticity: the abilities that can become enhanced or diminished, depending on how, when and why a person uses them.

    Some researchers believe that as we age, our intelligence increases in specific areas that are of importance to us; that is, each of us becomes an expert in a particular area.

Expertise: the acquisition of knowledge in a specific area; as individual grow older, they concentrate their learning in certain areas that are of the most importance to them; becoming experts in these areas while remaining relative novices in others.

What are the distinctive differences of expertise that create a difference in the quality as well as the quantity of cognition? ( they are: intuitive, automatic, strategic, flexible)

    Research suggests that four features distinguish the expert from the novice:
  • Experts tend to rely more on their accumulated experience than on rules to guide them and are thus more intuitive and less stereotyped in their performance.
  • Many elements of expert performance are automatic.
  • The expert has more, and better, strategies for accomplishing a particular task.
  • Experts are more flexible in their work.

* The fact that intelligence rises and falls with training and experience means that age generally is NOT the reason older workers are less able to do a job.

Human Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates