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Flashcards in Final Exam- Chapter 11 Deck (40):

Marker events for adulthood

Achievement and timing
-Completion of formal education
-Entering the adult workforce
-Leaving the family home
-Getting married
-Becoming a parent
-Many achieve these between age 18-24


Take longer today to “grow up” than in earlier points in history; why?

1. Demand for highly educated work force & increased costs of education
2. Difficulties in earning a good income & achieve stable employment
3. Frequency of early, non-marital sexual activity & availability of contraception


Arnett conceptualized adulthood

-The way the individual conceptualizes themselves
-Arnett found that the most important markers included accepting responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions & making independent decisions (rather than role transitions); & becoming financially independent


Emerging adulthood

1. Increasing independence & autonomy
2. Influenced by the nature of economic development in our society
3. if many occupations require extended years of education, the work is postponed & marriage/partnerships & childrearing are likely to be delayed
4. Self-exploration & Self development
5. increased years of education & expanded economic opportunities
6. Importance of connection (to family) becomes clearer as children move out of adolescence
delaying and avoiding responsibilities of adulthood


Hendry & Kloep (2007)- Emerging adulthood

Concern that young people are inadequately prepared for adulthood & modern parents are overindulgent & push the wrong values (achievement vs. real life experience)


Reaching Peak Physical Status

The relative importance of practice, training, knowledge, experience, & biological capacity varies from one skill to another
1. Skills that are based on muscle strength, flexibility, & speed of movement & response tend to peak early
2. Abilities that are heavily dependent on control, arm-hand steadiness, precision, & stamina tend to peak later
3. The greater the importance of cognitive factors in performance (e.g. strategy knowledge & use), the later the skill will top out.


Maintaining Physical Status

Exercise, nutrition, avoidance of alcohol & cigarettes


Young adults struggle with heeding the advice of living a healthy lifestyle

1. Heavy alcohol use
2. Poor diets, sleep habits, & exercise
3. Poor habits are likely a consequence of multiple factors: poor application of problem-solving skills to practical problems, a continuing sense of invulnerability, stresses of leaving home & facing social & academic demands


Changing Brain in Young Adulthood

1. Resurgent growth of synapses occurs around puberty in some areas of the brain, followed by a long period of pruning, which continues into the early adult years. It may mean an expanded capacity for cognitive advancement.
2. Possible accelerated maturing of electrical activity in frontal cortex could mean early adulthood important for advanced development of frontal lobe functions, such as...
-The ability to organize & reorganize attention,
-To plan
-To exercise control over one’s behavior and emotions.
3. Timing of college education may be ideally suited to possible heightened flexibility and plasticity of the frontal cortex in young adulthood.


Piaget: Formal Operational Thinking

-Allows us to think logically about abstract concepts
-Discover interrelationships


5th stage proposed: Postformal

1. Theories from Perry & Kitchner & others
2. Evolve as people begin to recognize that logical solutions to problems can come out differently depending on the perspectiveof the problem solver
3. Postformal thinkers can both understand the logic of contradictory perspectives & integrate them into a larger whole.


Constructivist in Postformal Thought

Assumption that what one knows & understands about the world is partly a function of the way one’s thought is, or can be structured.
-One’s thinking can be gradually shaped and restructured as the individual confronts & accommodates his or her thinking


Some theorists disagree with a 5th stage

*Thinking is still “Formal” but that the types of problems one encounters with age lead to more complex thinking
-Part of what people may learn as they confront adult problems & responsibilities is the limits of their own problem-solving abilities


Schaie’s View of Adults Adjusting to Environmental Pressures- Acquisition stage

Able to learn a skill or a body of knowledge regardless of whether it has any practical goal or social implication (childhood & adolescence)
-Monitored by parents
-Child has the luxury of learning for learning’s sake; problems confronted are those with pre-established answers


Schaie’s View of Adults Adjusting to Environmental Pressures- Achieving stage

Must apply intellectual skills to the achievement of long-term goals (young adulthood)
-Individual faced with making own decisions
-Answers may be less clear (ill-defined or ill-structured problems too)
-Schaie suggests that previously acquired skills are being sharpened & honed on a variety of problems; the answers to which affect multiple areas of life


Schaie’s View of Adults Adjusting to Environmental Pressures- Responsible stage

Problem solving must take into account not only one’s own personal needs and goals but also those of others in one’s life who have become one’s responsibility (middle adulthood)
-Ill-define problems are still the norm, but answers must involve balancing one’s own needs & the needs of others
-Executive stage: one focuses heavily on learning about complex relationships, multiple perspectives, commitment, & conflict resolution


Schaie’s View of Adults Adjusting to Environmental Pressures- Reorganization stage

Flexibility in problem solving is needed to create a satisfying, meaningful environment for the rest of life; -focus tends to narrow again to a changed set of personal goals and needs (e.g. retirement) (early old age)


Schaie’s View of Adults Adjusting to Environmental Pressures- Reintegrative stage

cognitive efforts are aimed more and more at solving immediate, practical problems; motivated to conserve physical & psychological energy (old age)


Schaie’s View of Adults Adjusting to Environmental Pressures- Legacy-leaving stage

work on establishing a written or oral account of their lives or of the history of their families to pass on to others – substantial use of long-term memory and narrative skill, decision making or use of judgment (oldest age)


Sinnott (1984, 1998) on Postformal Thought/Fifth-stage thinking

1. The essence of postformal thought is that it is relativistic
-The individual recognizes both the consistencies & contradictions among multiple systems of truth
-Depending of the person’s goals or concerns, the person may make a subjective commitment to one (truth) at times, and at other times, the person may seek a compromised solution that integrates some of each perspective (not losing sight of the inherent contradictions)
-If one remains aware of the inherent contradictions & realizes that each has some claim on being true, one is thinking postformally
-Bottom line: truth is relative, but one truth system may be more valid than another depending on our goals.


Chandler (1987; 1990): Postskeptical Rationalism (PR)

We make “rational commitments in the face of the clear
knowledge that other defensible alternatives to one’s view continue to exist”
-Inclined to see PR as a result of self-reflection, a growing metacognitive awareness that is the product of “an ongoing effort to reflect on the status of the general knowing process” & to understand its strengths & its limits.
-Doesn’t agree that PR is postformal thinking


Perry’s Theory of Intellectual & Ethical Development

1. Perry was influenced by Piaget & proposed a stage-based theory that depicts the typical intellectual & ethical transitions experienced by students in higher education settings
2. Perry constructed a sequence of 9 “positions” or stages ranging from extreme dualistic thinking to high levels of personally committed beliefs


Perry’s Theory of Intellectual & Ethical Development-Dualism

Position 1: Strict Dualism
Position 2: Multiplicity (Prelegitimate)
Position 3: Multiplicity (Subordinate)
Position 4: Late Multiplicity


Perry’s Theory of Intellectual & Ethical Development-Relativism

Position 5: Contextual Relativism
Position 6: Commitment Foreseen
Position 7, 8, 9: Commitment and Resolve
*Changes in thinking are more qualitative than structural


Position 1: Strict Dualism

Rigid adherence to authoritarian views, division between in-group & out-group; little questioning of authority


Position 2: Multiplicity (Prelegitimate)

1. Influenced by the person’s first exposure to multiple ideas, answers to life’s questions, or points of view
2. Face-to-face with uncertainty exacerbated by the lack of structure to accommodate the volume of ideas
3. Individuals maintain the belief that some authority possesses the ultimate truth or right answers, but one has to find it
4. One must sort through & organize mental dichotomies


Position 3: Multiplicity (Subordinate)

1. Individual grudgingly acknowledges the reality & legitimacy of multiple perspectives
2. Beliefs in a “just world” are now re-evaluated
3. Work effort does not always equal results
4. Awareness that authority figures don’t have all the answers


Position 4: Late Multiplicity

1. Realization that even “experts” differ among themselves in regard to what is true; handled in one of two ways:
- ̈ Oppositional: maintenance of dualistic style of thinking, but switch to the other side
- ̈ Relative subordinate: understanding that some opinions are more legitimate than others; value of a perspective is now understood to be related to the supporting arguments & evidence for the position


Position 5: Contextual Relativism

1. The individual can no longer accept the fiction that everyone’s ideas are as good as everyone else’s
2. There is sufficient detachment & the person can ‘step back’ and consider ideas more objectively
3. Allows the individual to appreciate the merits of diverse perspectives
4. Thinking about knowledge in context becomes more habitual


Position 6: Commitment Foreseen

Thinking at this stage incorporates a measure of moral courage as the person begins to affirm what it is she or he believe in, knowing that the position in no more right or better than others


Positions 7, 8, & 9: Commitment and Resolve

7: initial commitment
8: multiple commitments
9: resolve: person is resolved to continue to reflect on one’s commitments throughout adulthood


Persons who refrain from taking the intellectual challenge necessary for growth through these stages, fallback to positions including...

including temporizing, retreat, and escape



refers to delaying movement to the next stage



occurs when individuals revert back to dualistic thinking in times of stress in order to seek the intellectual security of absolute right & wrong



characterizes a movement back to relativism when the demands of commitment prove too taxing


Kitcher’s Model of the Development of Reflective Judgment

1. Proposed a 7 stage theory outlining the development of reflective judgment
2. Like Perry, Kitchner & colleagues found a predictable sequential progression
-Moved from a belief in the existence of absolute, fixed certainty, to a kind of contextual relativism


Kitchner concluded that thinking can be differentiated on the basis of 3 dimensions:

1. Certainty of knowledge
2. Processes used to acquire knowledge
3. The kind of evidence used to justify one’s judgment


Reflective judgment

How people analyze elements of a problem and justify their problem solving


Minority stress

1. The experience of prejudice and discrimination due to membership in a stigmatized group is very likely to increase


Racial crossover effect

1. African American adolescents engage in less substance use than White adolescents. But the reverse is true in adulthood, when African Americans use substances more than Whites.