I’m working on a psychology discussion question and need an explanation to help me understand better.
Piaget was only concerned with the cognitive development of children and saw the Formal Operational stage as the pinnacle, when our cognitive abilities reach their peak. But in the readings I mention the idea of another stage as we get older and have more experience with the world. It has been termed the Post-Formal Operational stage. Older people come to understand that context and their own perspective shape how they approach complex issues. It seems this kind of relativistic thinking develops later as people have to deal with complex issues within families, at work and in social situations. Along with that comes dialectical thinking. Again, with experience people come to realize there are inconsistencies and paradoxes. And that means that for some issues there may be no one perfect solution. So, the complexity of social issues make them far more difficult to deal with than conducting an experiment. And that means a different way of thinking may be required.
What do you think? Is there a case to be made for this idea of the Post-Formal Operational stage? Or does cognitive development simply stop at the end of adolescence once we reach that Formal Operational stage? In other words, do we reach our cognitive peak at 16 and just maintain from there? Most of you are either entering or have reached young adulthood. Do you see yourself starting to think about things differently than when you were 16? When trying to deal with a problem do you use different strategies than you would have then? Cite examples if you have them.
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