adolescence n.
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  1. Adolescence Chapter 8 DEP 2004 Human Development Across the Lifespan

  2. Guiding Questions • How do theorists view adolescents’ thought and understanding? • How do these views inform our ideas about adolescents’ development of the self? • How do these views inform our ideas about adolescents’ moral reasoning abilities?

  3. Information Processing • Adolescents improve on attention tasks • Selective attention—focus on relevant information • Divided attention—two things at once but learning is still detrimentally effected • Memory also improves • Use of memory strategies (mnemonic devices) • Experience and knowledge is enhancing

  4. Advances in Adolescence from an Information Processing Perspective • Working Memory and Processing Speed • Have adult-like working memory and processing speed, enables them to process information efficiently • Content Knowledge, Strategies, and Metacognitive Skill • Greater knowledge of the work facilitates understanding and memory of new experiences • Better able to identify task-appropriate strategies and monitor effectiveness of those strategies • Problem Solving and Reasoning • Solve problems analytically by relying on math or logic, able to detect weaknesses in scientific evidence and logical arguments

  5. Vgotsky’s Contribution Lev Vygotsky • Zone of Proximal Development • Scaffolding Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development

  6. Piaget’s Contribution • Formal operations • Hypothetical Deductive reasoning • Ex: Pendulum problem

  7. Social Cognition: Imaginary Audience and Personal Fable • Adolescent Egocentrism has two aspects • Imaginary audience • Leads to feeling of self-consciousness • Personal fable • Can lead to anguish and high risk behavior

  8. Piaget’s Formal OperationsCritiques • Individual differences • Not seen in every instance of teen life • Adolescents with math and science exhibit it more • Cultural differences • Traditional Piagetian tasks show little success • Success if task relevant to culture

  9. The Self and the Social Environment in Adolescence • Adolescence thought to be a time of storm and stress • Experience Sampling Method (ESM) has shown that • In U.S. it is a time of emotional volatility • Self-conscious, embarrassed, moody, lonely, and nervous

  10. The Self and the Social Environment in Adolescence • Source of distress a combination of cognitive and environmental factors • Transitions coupled with how events are interpreted contribute to volatility

  11. The Self and the Social Environment in Adolescence • Adolescent self—conceptions become complex • Composed of: • Actual self—true self conception • Possible self—what you could become • Ideal self—would like to be • Feared self—possible to become but fears becoming it • False self—what is shown to others

  12. The Self and the Social Environment in Adolescence • Discrepancy between actual self and ideal self can lead to feelings of failure and depression • Self-esteem tends to fluctuate during adolescence

  13. Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development • Created narratives of moral dilemmas and studied the reasoning process that people underwent when considering the problem • All possible choices have both positive and negative consequences • Classic (1969) story of Heinz and his dying wife • Presented narratives to people of different ages • Developed stages of moral reasoning to reflect qualitative changes at different stages

  14. Cultural BeliefsMoral Development • Classified moral reasoning into three levels composed of two stages each • Preconvention—likelihood of rewards and punishments • Conventional—value conforming to moral others • Post conventional—objective principles of right and wrong

  15. Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

  16. Promoting Moral Reasoning • Factors that can promote more sophisticated moral reasoning: • Noticing one’s current thinking is inadequate • Observing others reasoning at a more advanced levels • Discuss moral issues with peers, teachers, parents • Involvement in a religious community that connects adolescents to a network of caring peers and adults • Not all people achieve the highest stages of moral reasoning

  17. Issues with Kohlberg’s Theory • Kohlberg proposed a universal theory of moral development. It may be more context-specific. • His focus was on the structure of moral reasoning. • Kohlberg’s theory is very Western and reflects Judeo-Christian values not shared in all cultures, leading to different responses to moral dilemmas.

  18. Cultural BeliefsMoral Development • Alternate view of moral reasoning focuses on the individual’s worldview • World view provides basis for: • Moral reasoning—explaining right or wrong • Moral evaluations—outcome of moral reasoning • Moral behaviors—actions that reinforce world view