Chapter 5: Adolescence Module 5.2 Cognitive Development in Adolescence
Fixed sequence of qualitatively different stages
Fundamentally different than child thinking
Utilized in variety of settings and situations
Incorporates new, more advanced, and more adaptive form of reasoning
Occurs when biological readiness and increasingly complex environmental demands create cognitive disequilibrium
Piagetian Stages Related to Adolescence
Mastery of logic
Development of rational thinking
Development of abstract and hypothetical reasoning
Development of propositional logic
Piaget – Videos
Summary demonstrations of all stages :
Developmental of Formal Operations
Variable usage depends on conditions surrounding assessment
Consolidated and integrated into general approach to reasoning
Information Processing View
Study of cognitive development in component processes
Incorporates same techniques to understanding human reasoning that computer scientists employ in writing programs
Changes in Information Processing
Gains during adolescence help to explain developmental differences in abstract, multidimensional, and hypothetical thinking
Include five basic areas:
Information processing speed
Thinking about Thinking…
Metacognition improves during adolescence
Thinks about own thoughts self-consciousness
Monitors own learning processes more efficiently
Paces own studying
Belief that one is center of everyone else's concern and attention
What is an imaginary audience? Can you think of a time during your adolescence when you or your friends/school peers demonstrated this?
What purpose does the Imaginary Audience serve in adolescent development? How do you know?
Egocentric belief that one’s experiences are unique
Imaginary Audience and Personal Fable videos
School and Adolescence
The mean grade point average for college-bound seniors was 3.3 (out of a scale of 4), compared with 3.1 a decade ago. More than 40 percent of seniors reported average grades of A+, A, or A- (College Board, 2005).
Independent measures of achievement, such as SAT scores, have not risen. Consequently, a more likely explanation for the higher grades is the phenomenon of grade inflation. According to this view, it is not that students have changed. Instead, instructors have become more lenient awarding higher grades for the same performance.
What consequences does this have (potentially) for college-bound students?
Socioeconomic Status and School Performance
Children living in poverty lack many advantages:
Their nutrition and health may be less adequate.
Often living in crowded conditions and attending inadequate schools, they may have few places to do homework.
Their homes may lack the books and computers commonplace in more economically advantaged households.
Later school success builds heavily on basic skills presumably learned or not learned early in school
Ethnic and Racial Differences in School Achievement
Significant achievement differences between ethnic and racial groups
On average, African American and Hispanic students tend to perform at lower levels, receive lower grades, and score lower on standardized tests of achievement than Caucasian students
Asian American students tend to receive higher grades than Caucasian students
What is the source of such ethnic and racial differences in academic achievement?
Much of the difference is due to socioeconomic factors.
More African American and Hispanic families live in poverty so their economic disadvantage may be reflected in their school performance.
Members of certain minority groups may perceive school success as relatively unimportant: may believe that societal prejudice in workplace will dictate that they will not succeed, no matter how much effort they expend.
Process of involuntary immigration apparently leaves lasting scars, reducing the motivation to succeed in subsequent generations.
Drop Out Risk
Most students complete high school, but some half million students each year drop out prior to graduating. The consequences of dropping out are severe. High school dropouts earn 42 percent less than high school graduates, and the unemployment rate for dropouts is 50 percent.
Adolescents who leave school do so for a variety of reasons. Some leave because of pregnancy or problems with the English language. Some must leave for economic reasons, needing to support themselves or their families.
Dropout rates differ according to gender and ethnicity.
Poverty plays a large role in determining whether a student completes high school. Students from lower-income households are three times more likely to drop out than middle- and upper-income households. Because economic success is so dependent on education, dropping out often perpetuates a cycle of poverty.
See: Adolescents in Cyberspace: Exploring a New Social Universe: