ERIC Number: ED279957
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Higher Education and Cognitive Developmental Changes in Adulthood: An Integration of Logic and Experience.
Papini, Dennis R.; And Others
One of the issues facing educators is the increasing number of nontraditional students appearing in the college classroom. Recent conceptualizations of adult reasoning have suggested that there are qualitative differences in reasoning from young to late adulthood. The objective of this study was to examine cognitive differences rather than deficits among adult learners. Twenty-five young adults (mean age 19.8 years), 23 middle-aged adults (mean age 34.8 years), and 22 older adults (mean age 66.5 years) were presented with 12 problems which provided three types of interpretative context: (1) little interpretative context (formal tasks); (2) a richer context which described marital relations and work (adult relevant tasks); and (3) a rich context which described retirement, relocation, etc. (older adult relevant tasks). Subjects were asked to provide information related to the perceived relevancy of each problem to their own lives. Demographic information was also obtained in order to assess health, education, marital status, income, and life style. Qualitative level scores were assigned by two independent raters. The scores assigned for each task type were then examined by separate stepwise multiple regression analyses. In general, the analyses indicated that subjects who were male, older, and had more education were more likely to respond at a higher level than were other subjects. These results suggest educational implications for the college classroom which increasingly includes individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association (33rd, New Orleans, LA, April 16-18, 1987).