ERIC Number: ED203078
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jul-23
Review of Research in Selected Areas of Adult Cognitive Development: Implications for Adult Education.
Hughes, Fergus P.
The recent phenomenon of the "returning adult" to colleges has raised concern regarding two implications: age decline in intellectual ability and loss due to lack of practice. Literature indicates slight impairment of the problem-solving function until the years of advanced age. The degree of impairment is related to factors of educational attainment and relevant life experiences. Research on learning reveals that (1) conditioning research is limited in its applicability to classroom learning since it has dealt exclusively with advanced age, (2) performance on measures of verbal learning declines at least slightly during middle age and more significantly after that, and (3) evidence of rigidity learning deficit does not seem impressive. The literature also indicates a significant age deficit in secondary memory. Difficulties associated with conducting meaningful research on adult cognitive development include lack of life-span research, problems in isolating the age variable, problem in separating the components of intellectual functioning, and applicability of research to the classroom. There seem to be two areas regarding needs of returning students which could be profitably investigated: specific skills required for classroom success and effects of noncognitive variables on intellectual performance. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Development, Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Aging (Individuals), Cognitive Development, Conditioning, Developmental Psychology, Higher Education, Intellectual Development, Intelligence, Literature Reviews, Memory, Mental Rigidity, Problem Solving, Psychological Studies, Research Needs, Research Problems, Verbal Learning
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Green Bay. Coll. of Human Biology.