1
PowerPoint slides prepared by Leonard R. Mendola, PhD
Touro College
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Chapter 3: The Brain and Cognitive Development
Outline
•
The Brain
– Neurons
– Brain Structure, Cognition, and Emotion
– Experience and Plasticity
•
The Cognitive Developmental View
– Piaget’s Theory
– Vygotsky’s Theory
•
The Information-Processing View
–
–
–
–
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Cognitive Resources
Attention and Memory
Cognitive Control (Inhibition)
Executive Functioning
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Chapter 3: The Brain and Cognitive Development
Outline
(Continued from previous slide)
•
The Psychometric/Intelligence View
– Intelligence Tests
– Multiple Intelligences
– Heredity and Environment
•
Social Cognition
– Adolescent Egocentrism
– Social Cognition in the Rest of the Text
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The Brain
• Research in this area is still in its infancy,
an increasing number of studies are under
way (Casey, Jones, & Hare, 2008; Whittle & others, 2008).
• Scientists now note that the adolescent’s
brain is different from the child’s brain,
and that in adolescence the brain is still
growing (Giedd, 2008; Nelson, 2009; Shaw & others, 2008).
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The Neuron
The Neuron
• Neurons, or nerve cells, are the nervous
system’s basic units.
• A neuron has three basic parts:
• The cell body
• Dendrites
• Axon
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The Neuron
Fig. 3.1
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The Neuron
•
•
•
•
The dendrite is the receiving part of the neuron, and
the axon carries information away from the cell body
to other cells.
Myelin sheath increases the speed and efficiency of
information processing in the nervous system (Dubois &
others, 2008).
The dramatic increase in connections between
neurons is a process called synaptogenesis.
Synapses are gaps between neurons, where
connections between the axon and dendrites take
place.
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The Neuron
•
•
•
Nearly twice as many synaptic connections are made
than will ever be used (Huttenlocher & Dabholkar,1997).
Connections that are used are strengthened and
survive while unused ones are replaced by other
pathways. In the language of neuroscience these
connections will be “pruned.”
Neurotransmitters: chemicals that carry information
across the synaptic gap between one neuron and the
next—change.
– For example, an increase in the neurotransmitter dopamine
occurs in both the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system
during adolescence (Steinberg, 2008).
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The Neuron
A Myelinated Nerve Fiber
Fig. 3.2
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Brain Structure, Cognition, and Emotion
• Neurons are connected in precise ways, they
form various structures in the brain:
– The Corpus Callosum
– The Prefrontal Cortex
– The Amygdala
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The Neuron
The Prefrontal Cortex, Amygdala, and Corpus Callosum
Fig. 3.3
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Brain Structure, Cognition, and Emotion
•
•
Although adolescents are capable of very strong
emotions, their prefrontal cortex hasn’t adequately
developed to the point at which they can control
these passions (Nelson, 2003; Nelson, Thomas & de Haan, 2006).
The prefrontal cortex doesn’t yet have the ability to
slow down the amygdalas’s emotional intensity.
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Experience and Plasticity
Can New Brain Cells Be Generated in Adolescence?
•
•
People can generate new brain cells throughout their
lives (Libert, Cohen, & Guarente, 2008; Zhao, Deng, & Gage, 2008).
However, researchers only have documented
neurogenesis in two brain regions: the hippocampus
and the olfactory bulb (Gould, 2007).
Exercise might increase neurogensis in the
hippocampus (van Praag, 2008).
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Experience and Plasticity
Can the Adolescent’s Brain Recover from Injury?
•
The brain has a remarkable ability to repair itself
(Nelson, 2009; Sheridan & Nelson, 2008).
•
The earlier a brain injury occurs, the more likelihood of a
successful recovery (Yen & Wong, 2007).
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Experience and Plasticity
What Do We Know about Applying Information
Regarding Brain Development to Adolescents’
Education?
•
•
The implication of brain science for secondary
education are speculative and far removed from what
neuroscientists know about the brain (Fischer, 2008; Fischer &
Immordino-Yang, 2008)
The links between neuroscience and brain education are
often incorrectly made, such as “left-brained”
individuals being more logical and “right-brained”
individuals being more creative (Sousa, 1995).
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Experience and Plasticity
(Continued from previous slide)
What Do We Know about Applying Information
Regarding Brain Development to Adolescents’
Education?
•
•
Another commonly promoted link between neuroscience
and brain education is that most of the key changes in
the brain occur prior to adolescence (Fischer & ImmordinoYang, 2008).
Research on the plasticity of the adolescent’s brain and
the continuing development of the higher regions of the
frontal cortex through adolescence support the view
that education can considerably benefit adolescents
(Giedd, 2008).
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17
The Cognitive Developmental View
• Piaget's Theory
– Cognitive Processes
• Schema:
– A concept or framework that exists in the individual’s mind
to organize and interpret information.
• Assimilation:
– The incorporation of new information into existing
knowledge.
• Accommodation:
– An adjustment to new information, causing the schema to
change.
• Equilibration:
– When adolescents experience cognitive conflict, they
resolve conflict to reach a balance.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Fig. 3.4
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The Cognitive Developmental View
•
•
At the same time adolescents think more abstractly
and idealistically, they also think more logically.
Adolescents begin to reason more as a scientist
does.
– Hypothetical-deductive reasoning: the ability to develop
hypotheses, or best guesses, about how to solve problems.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
•
Some developmentalists believe that formal
operational thought consists of two subperiods
(Broughton, 1983):
– Early Formal Operational Thought. Adolescents’ newfound
ability to think in hypothetical ways produces unconstrained
thoughts with unlimited possibilities.
– Late Formal Operational Thought. As adolescents test their
reasoning against experience, intellectual balance is
restored.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
•
Evaluating Piaget’s Theory
– A giant in the field of developmental psychology.
– A genius when it came to observing children.
– Viewed children as active, constructive thinkers
(Carpendale, Muller, & Bibok, 2008).
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The Cognitive Developmental View
•
Evaluating Piaget’s Theory (Continued)
– Emphasized how children act on and adapt to their
world.
– Pointed out that children need to make their
experiences fit their schemas, or cognitive
frameworks, yet can simultaneously adapt their
schemas to experience.
– A concept does not emerge all of a sudden, full
blown, but develops instead through a series of
partial accomplishments that lead to an
increasingly comprehensive understanding.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
• Criticisms
– Questions are raised about the timing and
nature of his stage view of cognitive
development.
– He failed to adequately study in detail key
cognitive processes.
– His explanations of cognitive changes are
too general.
– He failed to adequately study the effects of
culture on cognitive development .
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24
The Cognitive Developmental View
• Cognitive Changes in Adulthood
– Realistic and Pragmatic Thinking
– Reflective and Relativistic Thinking
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The Cognitive Developmental View
• Is There a Fifth, Postformal Stage?
– Some theorists proposed that young adults
move into a new qualitative stage of cognitive
development.
– The following descriptions have been
proposed:
•
•
•
•
Reflective, relativistic, and contextual
Provisional
Realistic
Open to emotions and subjective
– Research has yet to document that postformal
thought is a qualitatively more advanced stage
than formal operational thought.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
• Wisdom
– Defined as expert knowledge about the
practical aspects of life that permits excellent
judgment about important matters.
– Focuses on life’s pragmatic concerns and
human conditions (Sternberg, 2009a; Sternberg,
Jarvin, & Reznitskaya, 2009).
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The Cognitive Developmental View
(Continued from previous slide)
• Wisdom
– Research by Baltes and his colleagues (Baltes &
Kunzmann, 2007; Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 2006; Baltes
& Smith, 2008) found:
• High levels of wisdom are rare.
• The time frame of late adolescence and early adulthood
is the main age window for wisdom to emerge.
• Factors other than age are critical for wisdom to
develop to a high level.
• Personality-related factors, such as openness to
experience and creativity, are better predictors of
wisdom than cognitive factors such as intelligence.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
• Vygotksy’s Theory
– Views knowledge as situated and
collaborative (Gauvain, 2008; Holtzman, 2009).
– Knowledge is distributed among people
and their environments, which include
objects, artifacts, tools, books, and the
communities in which people live.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
Fig. 3.5
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The Cognitive Developmental View
•
Vygotksy’s Theory
– Social Constructivist Approach
• Emphasizes the social contexts of learning and
the construction of knowledge through social
interaction.
• Students need many opportunities to learn with
the teacher and more-skilled peers (Daniels,
2007).
• Teachers serve as facilitators and guides,
rather than as directors and molders of
learning.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
• Criticisms of Vygotksy’s Theory
– Not specific enough about age-related changes
(Gauvain, 2008).
– Not adequately describing how changes in
socioemotional capabilities contribute to
cognitive development (Gauvain, 2008).
– Overemphasized the role of language in thinking.
– Vygotsky’s emphasis on collaboration and
guidance has potential pitfalls.
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The Cognitive Developmental View
Comparison of Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s Theories
Fig. 3.6
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The Information-Processing View
•
Information processing is both a framework for
thinking about adolescent development and a
facet of that development.
– As a framework, the information-processing view
includes certain ideas about how adolescents’ minds
work and how best to study those workings (Kuhn, 2008).
– As a facet of development, information-processing
changes as children make the transition from
adolescence to adulthood (Keil, 2006).
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The Information-Processing View
•
Some basic characteristics of the informationprocessing view:
– Cognitive Resources
• Capacity and speed of processing (Frye, 2004).
– Attention and Memory
• Are key aspects of adolescents’ information-processing.
• Individuals can allocate attention in different ways:
– Selective, divided, sustained, and executive.
• Short-term memory, working memory, and long-term memory.
– Cognitive Control (Inhibition)
– Executive Functioning
• Higher-order, complex cognitive processes.
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The Information-Processing View
Developmental Changes in Memory Span
Fig. 3.7
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The Information-Processing View
Working Memory
Fig. 3.8
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The Information-Processing View
Developmental Changes in Working Memory
Fig. 3.9
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The Information-Processing View
• Additional aspects of the informationprocessing view:
– Decision Making
– Critical Thinking
– Creative Thinking
– Expertise
– Metacognition and Self-Regulatory
Learning
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The Information-Processing View
• Decision Making
– Young adolescents are more likely to:
• Generate different options.
• Examine a situation from a variety of perspectives.
• Anticipate the consequences of decisions.
• Consider the credibility of sources.
– Older adolescents often make better decisions than younger
adolescents.
– The ability to regulate one’s emotions during decision
making, to remember prior decisions and their consequences,
and to adapt subsequent decision making on the basis of
those consequences appears to improve with age (Brynes,
2008; Klaczynski, Byrnes, & Jacobs, 2001).
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The Information-Processing View
• Decision Making
– The social context plays a key role in adolescent
decision-making.
– The presence of peers in risk-taking situations
increases the likelihood that adolescents will
make risky decisions (Steinberg, 2008).
– One strategy for improving adolescent decision
making is to provide more opportunities for
them to engage in role-playing and group
problem solving.
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The Information-Processing View
• Critical Thinking
– Thinking reflectively and productively and evaluating
evidence (Halpern, 2007).
– Cognitive changes that allow improved critical
thinking during this period are:
• Increased speed, automaticity, and capacity of information
processing.
• Greater breadth of content knowledge in a variety of
domains.
• Increased ability to construct new combinations of
knowledge.
• A greater range and more spontaneous use of strategies and
procedures for obtaining and applying knowledge.
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The Information-Processing View
• Creativity
– The ability to think in novel ways and discover
unique solutions to problems.
• Convergent Thinking
– A pattern of thinking in which individuals produce one
correct answer; characteristic of the items on conventional
intelligence tests.
• Divergent Thinking
– A pattern of thinking in which individuals produce many
answers to the same question; more characteristic of
creativity than convergent thinking.
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The Information-Processing View
•
Strategies for increasing adolescent’s creative
thinking skills:
– Brainstorming.
– Introduce adolescents to environments that stimulate
creativity.
– Don’t over-control.
– Encourage internal motivation.
– Build adolescents’ confidence.
– Guide adolescents to be persistent and delay gratification.
– Encourage adolescents to take intellectual risks.
– Introduce adolescents to creative people.
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The Information-Processing View
• Expertise
– An expert is the opposite of a novice (someone who
is just beginning to learn a content area).
– Experts are better than novices at:
• Detecting features and meaningful patterns of information.
• Accumulating more content knowledge and organizing it in
a manner that shows an understanding of the topic.
• Retrieving important aspects of knowledge with little effort.
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The Information-Processing View
Memory for Numbers and Chess Pieces
Fig. 3.11
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The Information-Processing View
•
Metacognitive and Self-Regulatory Learning
– Metacognition is cognition about cognition, or “knowing about
knowing” (Flavell, 2004).
– Metacognition is increasingly recognized as a very important
cognitive skill not only in adolescence but also in emerging
adulthood.
– Adolescents have an increased capacity to monitor and
manage cognitive resources to effectively meet the demands
of a learning task (Kuhn, 2008).
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The Information-Processing View
•
Metacognitive and Self-Regulatory Learning
– Self-regulatory learning is the self-generation and selfmonitoring of one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order
to reach a goal.
– Self-regulatory learners (Winne, 1997; Winne & Perry, 2000) do the
following:
• Set goals for extending their knowledge and sustaining their motivation.
• Are aware of their emotional makeup and follow strategies for managing
their emotions.
• Periodically monitor their progress toward a goal.
• Fine-tune or revise their strategies based on the progress they have
made.
• Evaluate obstacles that arise and make the necessary adaptations.
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The Information-Processing View
•
Domain-Specific Thinking Skills
– The teaching of thinking skills within specific subjects, such
as writing, mathematics, science, and history (Anderman &
Anderman, 2009).
– Researchers have found that “it is possible to analyze and
teach the underlying cognitive processes required in tasks
such as comprehending a passage, writing an essay, solving
an arithmetic word problem, answering a scientific question,
or explaining an historical event . . . (Mayer & Wittrock, 2006).”
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The Information-Processing View
The Relation of Prewriting Activities to Essay Quality
Fig. 3.12
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Emphasizes the importance of individual
differences in intelligence.
• Many advocates of this view favor the use
of intelligence tests.
• An increasing issue in the field of
intelligence involves pinning down what
the components of intelligence really are.
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• A definition of intelligence
– The ability to solve problems and to adapt and
learn from experiences.
– Robert Sternberg (2009c,d) proposes that
practical know-how should be considered part
of intelligence.
– Vygotsky’s definition would include the ability
to use the tools of the culture with help from
more skilled individuals.
– Intelligence is such an abstract concept there
are many different ways to define it.
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Intelligence tests
– In 1904, the French Ministry of Education
asked psychologist Alfred Binet to devise a
method of identifying children who were
unable to learn in school.
– In 1905, Binet developed an intelligence test to
meet this request.
– It consisted of 30 questions on topics ranging
from the ability to touch one’s ear to the ability
to draw designs from memory and define
abstract concepts.
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Intelligence tests
– Binet developed the concept of mental age (MA).
• An individual’s level of mental development
relative to others.
– In 1912, William Stern created the concept of
intelligence quotient (IQ).
• A person’s mental age divided by
chronological age (CA), multiplied by 100.
• IQ = MA/CA × 100.
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Intelligence tests
– If mental age is the same as chronological age,
then the person’s IQ is 100. If mental age is above
chronological age, then their IQ is more than 100.
If mental age is below chronological age, then IQ
is less than 100.
– The Binet test has been revised many times.
– These revisions are called the Stanford-Binet
tests. (Stanford University is where the revisions
have been done.)
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
The Normal Curve and Stanford-Binet IQ Scores
Fig. 3.13
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Intelligence tests
– The Wechsler Scales
• Developed by David Wechsler.
• Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of
Intelligence–III (WPPSI-III) to test children 4 to
61/2 years of age.
• Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—IV
Integrated (WISC-IV Integrated) for children and
adolescents 6 to 16 years of age.
• Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III).
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
Sample Subscales of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Third Edition
Fig. 3.14
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Using Intelligence Tests
– Psychological tests are tools.
– Their effectiveness depends on the knowledge, skill,
and integrity of the user.
– Some cautions about IQ
• Avoid stereotyping and expectations.
• Know that IQ is not a sole indicator of competence.
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Multiple Intelligences
– Robert J. Sternberg (1986, 2003, 2007, 2008,
2009c,d,e,f) developed the triarchic theory of
intelligence
• Analytical intelligence
– Ability to analyze, judge, evaluate, compare, and contrast.
• Creative intelligence
– Ability to create, design, invent, originate, and imagine.
• Practical intelligence
– Ability to use, apply, implement, and put ideas into
practice.
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60
The Psychometric/Intelligence View
•
Gardner’s Eight Frames of Mind
–
Howard Gardner (1983, 1993, 2002) suggests
there are eight types of intelligence, or "frames
of mind."
Verbal
Mathematical
Spatial
Bodily-Kinesthetic
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Musical
Interpersonal
Intrapersonal
Naturalist
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Emotional Intelligence
– Daniel Goleman (1995) emphasized interpersonal,
intrapersonal, and practical aspects of intelligence.
– Initially developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer (1990).
• Defined it as the ability to:
– Perceive and express emotion accurately and adaptively
(such as taking the perspective of others).
– To understand emotion and emotional knowledge (such as
understanding the roles that emotions play in friendship and
marriage).
– To use feelings to facilitate thought (such as being in a
positive mood, which is linked to creative thinking).
– To manage emotions in oneself and others (such as being
able to control one’s anger).
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
Comparison of Sternberg’s, Gardner’s, and Mayer/Salovey/Goleman’s Views
Fig. 3.15
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Controversies in Intelligence
– An ongoing issue involving intelligence is the
extent to which it is due to heredity or to
environment.
• Heredity
– How strong is the effect of heredity on intelligence?
• Environment
– Are there ethnic variations in intelligence?
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
Correlation Between Intelligence Test Scores and Twin Status
Fig. 3.16
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
The Increase In IQ Scores from 1932 to 1997
Fig. 3.17
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The Psychometric/Intelligence View
• Heredity and Environment Interaction
– Most researchers agree that genetics and
environment interact to influence intelligence
(Sternberg, 2009d).
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67
Social Cognition
• Social cognition refers to the way individuals
conceptualize and reason about their social
worlds.
– The people they watch and interact with, their
relationships with those people, the groups they
participate in, and the way they reason about
themselves and others.
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68
Social Cognition
•
Adolescent Egocentrism
– The heightened self-consciousness of adolescents, which is
reflected in their belief that others are as interested in them
as they are themselves, and in their sense of personal
uniqueness and invulnerability.
– David Elkind (1976) argues that adolescent egocentrism can
be dissected into two types of social thinking:
•
• Imaginary audience.
• Personal fable.
Perspective Taking
– The ability to assume another person’s perspective and
understand his or her thoughts and feelings.
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69
RESOURCES FOR IMPROVING THE LIVES OF ADOLESCENTS
•
Cognitive Development: The Learning Brain by Usha Goswami. (2008).
Clifton, NJ: Psychology Press.
In-depth, contemporary coverage of many aspects of cognitive
development.
•
“The Second Decade: What Develops?”by Deanna Kuhn and Sam
Franklin. (2006). In W. Damon & R. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of Child
Psychology (6th Ed.). New York: Wiley.
An up-to-date, in-depth examination of the important changes in
executive functioning and other cognitive changes in adolescence.
•
Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences (3rd Ed.) by
Linda Campbell, Bruce Campbell, and Dee Dickinson. (2004). Boston:
Allyn & Bacon.
Provides applications of Gardner’s eight intelligences to classrooms.
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70
E-LEARNING TOOLS
To help you master the material in this
chapter, visit the Online Learning Center
for Adolescence, 13th edition at:
http://www.mhhe.com/santrocka13e
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Chapter 3 - Peru State College