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Cognitive development theory - Essay Example

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There are two perspectives in adult cognitive development. These are contextual and dialectical thinking. Dialectical thinking is shown, by reasoning and discussion, to create a meaning of the complexities and contradictions adults has to deal continually with them. It holds that dialectical sense thinking enables acceptance of alternative ways or truths of thinking on similar phenomena, which, in everyday life, abounds. Dialectical thinking involves a process of logical thought through which adults can take what, on the surface, may seem contradictory positions. Contextual approach shows how cultural, social, political and economic forces play a role in shaping adult thinking development (Dunkel & Sefcek, n.d). This approach argues that the contextual factors may constitute what affects cognitive development of an adult. I carried an interview on a respondent who showed various issues. I asked questions such as what is your name? How old are you? Have you a spouse? Do you have a house? Do you have problems paying fees? Do you drink? Do you have children? The respondent was 30 years and was married. He lived in a rented house and claimed that he had not enough income to settle his expenses including rent, electricity bill and payment of school fees. He also confessed that he occasionally did drink. I had to analyze this situation using contextual approach in order to understand my client. My client had issues in learning which were due to the situation he was undergoing. He could not concentrate because his focus shifted from time to time on the problems he was facing. Such a person needs help in learning to concentrate on issues at hand. I advised him to learn to avoid the thoughts about his problems whenever they came as he engaged other activities. While taking a contextual approach one should consider these social, economic, political and cultural factors rather than taking chronological factors as guiding tools for comparison. Contextual approach would argue consideration of contextual factors that have influenced behaviors rather than just evaluating behavior on its surface. Contextual approach plays a critical role in understanding issues and life events in a person’s life. Background, including family of origin, school, friends and place where raised determines the thinking pattern of an individual. For instance, an adult may be truant because of influence from peers. Family situation and a person’s age are also contextual factors that determine an individual’s decisions. For example, a married individual would take different courses from that of unmarried one. When a person reaches some age, he or she would like to act in some way according to what applies most to that stage. Consideration of prior and current learning experiences is a factor worth considering. An individual who has undergone formal learning would not act the same way as one who has not. An individual undergoing formal learning at present such as a college student will make decisions mostly as per his or her status quo. For instance, a woman would choose not to have children until she finishes her degree education. Similarly, a young adult man might not marry until he has employment in order to get some economic stability. Current life issues also play a role in an individual’s thinking. An individual experiencing adverse social issues may resort to certain behaviors in order to get relieve. For instance, a person can resort to drinking in an attempt to do away with disturbing thoughts. Past life issues and how the individual confronted them also matter in this case. Lifespan Ego Development Erikson’ ...Show more


Cognitive development theory Cognitive development refers to changing of thinking patterns over time (Dunkel & Sefcek, n.d). Jean Piaget came up with four stages in cognitive development, which are related to age…
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