Changes in Cognition (Thinking) ( Main advantages over children?s thought: 1. Thinking about possibilities adolescents are better able than children to think about what is possible, instead of limiting their thought to what is real 2. Thinking about abstract concepts adolescents are better able than children to think about abstract things 3. Thinking about thinking (metacognition) adolescents think more often than children about the process of thinking itself 4. Thinking about multiple dimensions adolescents? thinking, compared to children?s, is more often multidimensional, rather than limited to a single issue 5. Seeing knowledge as relative adolescents are more likely than children to see things a relative, rather than as absolute Thinking about Possibilities ( Moves easily between the specific and the abstract to generate alternative possibilities ( Development of deductive reasoning major intellectual accomplishment deductive reasoning is a type of logical reasoning in which one draws logically necessary conclusions from a general set of premises, or givens. Seldom used before adolescence ?Inhibiting a prepotent response? Adolescents are better able to catch themselves before they incorrectly answer the question ( Development of hypothetical thinking also called ?if-then? thinking in order to think hypothetically, you need to see beyond what is directly observable and apply logical reasoning to anticipate what might be possible Thinking about Abstract Concepts ( Ability to comprehend higher-order abstract logic: puns, proverbs, metaphors, and analogies ( The growth of social thinking (social cognition) during adolescence is directly related to the young person?s improving ability to think abstractly. ( Ex:) Sun : Moon : : Asleep? Star Bed Awake night Metacognition: Thinking About Thinking ( Metacognition often involves monitoring your own cognitive activity during the process of thinking. ( Ex:) pneumonic - when you consciously use a strategy for remembering something ( Increased introspection thinking about our own emotions ( Increased self-consciousness thinking that others are thinking of us ( Increased intellectualization thinking about our own thoughts Metacognitive Consequences ( Being able to introspect may lead to periods of extreme self-absorption ? a form of ?adolescent egocentrism? ( Adolescent egocentrism results in 2 distinct problems in thinking Imaginary Audience The belief, often brought on by heightened self-consciousness, that everyone is watching and evaluating one?s behavior Believes that everyone is watching Behavior is the focus of other?s concern Personal Fable An adolescent?s belief that he or she is unique and therefore not subject to the rules that govern other people?s behavior Experiences are unique Nothing bad can happen to them because they are special Ex:) sexually active teen who believes pregnancy simply wont happen to them Ex:) being broken up with and then telling sympathetic mother that she simply doesn?t understand Thinking in Multiple Dimensions ( Ability to view things from more than one aspect at a time ( More sophisticated understanding of probability ( Understand sarcasm Ex:) south park ( Understand double-entenders Adolescent Relativism ( Ability to see things as relative, rather than absolute Children tend to see things in absolute terms ? in black and white. Adolescents, in contrast, tend to see things as relative. They are more likely to question others? assertions and less likely to accept ?facts? as absolute truths. ( Skepticism becomes common their belief that everything is relative can become so overwhelming that they may become extremely skeptical about many things ( Everything may seem uncertain ( No knowledge seems completely reliable Adolescent Thinking: Piaget?s View ( According to Piaget, cognitive development proceeds through 4 stages: 1. sensorimotor period (birth ? 2 yrs) discovery of relationships between sensation and motor behavior 2. preoperational period (2 ? 6 yrs) use of symbols to represent objects internally, especially through language 3. concrete operational period (6 ? 11 yrs) mastery of logic and development of rational thinking 4. formal operational period (11+) development of abstract and hypothetical reasoning each stage is characterized by a particular type of thought transitions into higher stages of reasoning are most likely to occur when the child?s biological readiness and the increasing complexity of environmental demands interact to stimulate more advanced thinking. ( cognitive-developmental view of intellectual development interaction between biological change and environmental stimulation leads to intellectual growth ( Propositional Logic Piaget believed that the heart of formal-operational thinking is the use of an abstract system of propositional logic Based on formal principles of logic Applies to abstract, complicated thinking as well as to concrete, literal thinking Foundation of formal-operational thinking ( Competence-Performance Distinction Competence ? what the adolescent is capable of doing Performance ? what the adolescent actually does in the assessment situation A large gap exists between what can be done and what is done in daily life. The distinction between what individuals are capable of and what they actually do. Important in the study of cognitive development Adolescent Thinking: The Information-Processing View ( Question of interest what is it about the ways that adolescents think about things that make them better problem solvers than children ( Some scientists point out that the Piagetian approach has not been especially helpful in pinpointing exactly what it is that changes as individuals mature into and through adolescence. ( Compare our thinking to a computer techniques used to write computer programs can help understand human reasoning processes ( Information-Processing studies have focused on 5 areas in which improvement occurs during adolescence: Attention Selective Attention ? focusing on one stimulus while tuning out another Ex:) reading an assignment while tuning out brother?s video game Divided Attention ? paying attention to 2 or more stimuli at the same time Ex:) studying while listening to music Memory Working Memory ? ability to remember something for a short period of time (30 secs) Long-term Memory ? the ability to recall something from a long time ago Processing Speed Organization Become more ?planful? Metacognition The Adolescent Brain ( Adolescence is a time of tremendous improvement in abstract thinking. ( Brain maturation in adolescence is linked to behavioral, emotional, and cognitive development during this period. ( Research is conducted using fMRI, PET, and DTI scans (studies of human brains using various imaging techniques) fMRI ? functional magnetic resonance imaging PET ? positron emission tomography DTI ? diffusion tensor imaging These techniques allow researchers to take pictures of individual?s brains and compare their structure and functioning. Studies using fMRI and, to a lesser extent, DTI have been especially important, because, unlike PET, which requires that dye be injected into the participant in order to see brain activity, these techniques are noninvasive and can be used with children as well as adults. Using fMRI, researchers have looked at activity in various regions of the brain while individuals are performing a variety of tasks. Using DTI, scientists are able to see the ways in which various regions of the brain are connected and compare patterns of interconnections among people at different ages. This allows us to better understand how ?communication? patterns linking different regions of the brain change with development. What Changes in the Brain? ( Among the most important brain changes to take place at adolescence: The Prefrontal Cortex The Limbic System The Adolescent Brain ( Changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) improve efficiency of info-processing: Synaptic ?Pruning? The elimination of unused connections between nerve cells, or neurons Affected by experience Takes place throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence, but different regions of the brain are pruned at different points in development The part of the brain that is pruned in adolescence is the prefrontal cortex Myelination The neuronal projections that connect to form brain circuits become encased within a sheath of myelin, a white fatty substance that provides a sort of insulation that makes the transmission of impulses flow much more effectively. There is continued myelination of the prefrontal cortex throughout adolescence Affected by experience ( Changes in levels of neurotransmitters in the limbic system affect reward sensitivity: Dopamine Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex ( Prefrontal Cortex is the region of the brain most important for sophisticated thinking abilities, such as planning, thinking ahead, weighing risks and rewards, and controlling impulses. ( Full maturation sometime between adolescence and early adulthood (mid-20?s) ( Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex important for planning ahead and controlling impulses the outer and upper areas of the front of the brain ( Ventromedial prefrontal cortex important for gut-level, intuitive decision making the lower and central area of the front of the brain has strong connections with the limbic system ( Orbitofrontal cortex important for evaluating risks and rewards the area of the brain directly behind the eyes Intellectual Abilities that Decline in Adolescence ( Brain regions involved in language acquisition grow rapidly in preadolescence ( These regions stop growing at puberty ( Language-learning more difficult during adolescence than childhood. Implications of the Timing of Brain Maturation ( Limbic system matures at puberty seek novelty, reward, stimulation ( Prefrontal cortex matures several years later ( Time gap may explain why adolescence is a period of heightened experimentation with risk it?s like ?starting the engines with an unskilled driver? Individual Differences in Intelligence in Adolescence ( Measurement of IQ IQ ? intelligent quotient First developed in 1905 Most widely used ? and misused ? psychological instrument An individual?s IQ is computed by dividing his mental age by his chronological age and then multiplying the result by 100 Only measure a very specific type of intelligence Below 100 ? poorer test performer than ½ of the comparison group Above 100 ? better performance than ½ of the comparison group Average is 100 ( Cohort A group of people born during the same historical era ( Extremes of intelligence Mental Retardation: IQ ( 70 Gifted: IQ > 130 ( Sternberg?s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence 3-part theory of intelligence ? 3 distinct but interrelated types of intelligence: 1.) Componential Intelligence abilities to acquire, store, and process information closest to the type of intelligence measured on traditional IQ tests 2.) Experiential Intelligence abilities to use insight and creativity closest to what we call ?creativity? 3.) Contextual Intelligence our ability to think practically closest to what we might call ?street smarts? all individuals have all 3 types of these forces us to look at individuals who are not good test takers but who are creative or street smart as being just as intelligent as individuals who score high on IQ tests ( Gardner?s Theory of Multiple Intelligences also stresses there is more to being smart than being ?book smart? Seven types of intelligences: 1.) verbal 2.) mathematical 3.) spatial 4.) kinesthetic (movement) 5.) self-reflective 6.) interpersonal 7.) musical Test Performance in Adolescence ( Intelligence test scores become increasingly stable during childhood (age 6 or 7) and are remarkably stable during adolescence most adolescents? IQ scores are the same in adolescence as in childhood ( The SAT predicts one?s likelihood of success in college, but is only one of many useful predictive factors measure of aptitude in adolescence measure of ?school smarts? ( Few reliable sex differences in performance of males and females on various types of tests of intelligence only reliable difference is in the area of spatial ability, where males just slightly outperform females Culture and Intelligence ( Vygotsky emphasized context in which development occurs nature of environment in which adolescent develops individuals develop and use intellectual skills not simply as a function of their cognitive maturation but in response to the everyday problems that they are expected to solve Scaffolding ? structuring a learning situation so that it is just within the reach of the student Zone of proximal development ? the level of challenge that is still within the individual?s reach but that forces an individual to develop more advanced skills Vygotsky argued that children and adolescents learn best in everyday situations when they encounter tasks that are neither too simple nor too advanced, but just slightly more challenging than their abilities permit them to solve on their own ( Culture-Fair Tests Intelligence tests that attempt to reduce sources of ethnic or cultural bias Studies find that African American and Hispanic American youngsters typically score lower on standardized IQ tests than do their white peers B/c IQ tests are loaded with questions that reflect the experiences and values of middle-class whites Based less on verbal skills Oriented toward performance tasks Adolescent Thinking in Context: Social Cognition ( Social Cognition the aspect of cognition that concerns thinking about other people, about interpersonal relations, and about social institutions ( Adolescents? conceptions of interpersonal relationships become more mature: understanding of human behavior is more advanced ideas about social institutions and organizations are more complex ability to figure out what other people think is more accurate ( Studies of social cognition during adolescence typically fall into 3 categories: 1.) Impression Formation examine how individuals form and organize judgments about other people implicit personality theory ? an intuitive understanding of human behavior and motivation that emerges during early adolescence 2.) Social Perspective-Taking examine how, and how accurately, individuals make assessments about the thoughts and feelings of others mutual role taking ? when the adolescent can be an objective third party and can see how the thoughts or actions of one person can affect those of another 3.) Concepts of Morality and Social Conventions examines individuals? conceptions of justice, social norms, and guidelines for social interaction social conventions ? the social norms that guide day-to-day behavior ( One of the most important ways in which improvements in social cognition are manifested during adolescence is in the development of wisdom Wisdom ? rich knowledge about life that permits ?exceptional insight, judgment, and advice about complex and uncertain matters? Adolescent wisdom increased steadily between the ages of 14 and 25, and then leveled off Adolescent Thinking in Context: Risk-Taking ( More common among males than females the gender gap has been narrowing over time ( Young people behave in risky ways because a variety of emotional and social factors influence their judgment ( Behavioral Decision Theory Decision making is rational and individuals try to maximize benefits of alternative courses of action and minimize costs Draws heavily on economics ( Personal fable about invulnerability Early adolescents less likely than young adults to feel invulnerable Adolescents overestimate risks More attuned to potential rewards than adults are when weighing the costs and benefits of engaging in a risky behavior Adolescents vary more than adults in interpreting words describing risk Adolescent Thinking: In the Classroom ( American youth have difficulty with critical thinking critical thinking ? thinking that is in-depth, analytical, and discriminating ( Schools should teach adolescents ways of: focusing attention improving short- and long-term memory organizing information monitoring thought processes
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