ERIC Number: ED235413
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Formal-Operational Thinking and the Role of Training.
Wyatt, Mollie L.
Studies exploring the transition from early to middle adolescence have found a significant increase in formal-operational thinking, but it is questionable whether the typical adolescent is capable of consistently applying formal operational logic. To examine the relationship between Piagetian-based training techniques and formal-operational thinking, 55 education majors (19-22 years old) were tested using the Cognitive Exam, and then assigned to one of the four conditions (pretest, no pretest, proportionality scheme, or reality therapy). There were two training sessions for each group, consisting either of programmed tasks dealing with the proportionality scheme (representing the ability to understand the fact that the ratio of two quantities is equal to the ratio of two other quantities), or programmed reality therapy material. A percentage of the number of subjects functioning on the formal-operational level of cognitive development (characterized by a score of 70 to 93 points on the Cognitive Exam), showed that at the end of the pretest stage of the experiment, none of the subjects were functioning at the formal-operational level; at the end of the posttest stage, only one subject was functioning at the formal-operational level. There was no significant difference between the pretested and no pretest groups, and no significant differences between those receiving training and those not receiving training. A majority of the students were functioning between the concrete and formal levels of cognitive development. The large number of transitional formal thinkers indicates that individuals can function formally in one area and not in another, yielding more support for a continuity view of cognitive development rather than a stage view. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Formal Operations; Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (29th, Atlanta, GA, March 23-26, 1983).