Abstraction and Aging: A Social Psychological Analysis by Jason S. Lee

By Jason S. Lee

Abstraction is one part of highbrow functioning. The learn of abstraction permits tremendous worthwhile insights into human intelligence. whereas this monograph exhibits that the power to imagine abstractly declines a little with age, there are various variables identifying summary pondering and its relation to intelligence over the life-span. This monograph defines abstraction from all angles of concept, contrasting it with high-order pondering and stereotyped considering; it discusses and evaluates assessments of summary pondering; and it provides new findings in sociological and mental study on abstraction.

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Growing awareness of the problems inhering in cross-sectional designs as well as the advantages of longitudinal data in the study of human development has resulted in enthusiasm for longitudinal research. The following section considers the methodological advantages of this approach to the study of intellectual functioning across adulthood, some findings from such studies, and finally, the limitations of this approach. 5. The Longitudinal Study of Adult Intellectual Development The longitudinal approach to the study of human development is generally regarded as superior to the cross-sectional approach (Schaie, 1983, pp.

Abstraction and Cognitive Growth in Childhood 29 In the Piagetian scheme of cognitive development, relational abstraction is a relatively early appearing concrete operation that also combines with other components of cognitive functioning to produce more advanced modes of thought (such as reasoning by analogy) in the period of formal operations. But abstraction remains a basic means of operating on intellectual content at all levels of complexity. As we saw earlier, because abstraction is defined as classification on the basis of similarities and differences, we can infer that it is used to draw generalizations and to form new concepts in relation to old ones.

187) observed, he also originated a misconception. To Mr. Lippmann goes credit for establishing the conception [of stereotypes] in modern social psychology. His treatment, however excellent on the descriptive side, was somewhat loose in theory. For one thing he tends to confuse stereotype with category. As noted above, this misconception continues today in the cognitive perspective on stereotyping. Let us, then, tum to Allport for clarification. In his own analysis of stereotyping, Allport also placed great significance on processes of categorization.

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