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By Jason S. Lee

Abstraction is one part of highbrow functioning. The learn of abstraction permits super precious insights into human intelligence. whereas this monograph exhibits that the facility to imagine abstractly declines somewhat with age, there are various variables deciding on summary considering and its relation to intelligence over the life-span. This monograph defines abstraction from all angles of inspiration, contrasting it with high-order considering and stereotyped considering; it discusses and evaluates checks of summary pondering; and it provides new findings in sociological and mental examine on abstraction.

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Additional info for Abstraction and Aging: A Social Psychological Analysis

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188) reports that "the tendency for older people to become less capable of thinking in abstract terms" is supported by research based on the Similarities subtest of the WAIS and Raven's PM. It is believed that this deficit is "not simply a difficulty in generating abstractions, but also in recognizing them among more concrete alternatives" (Salthouse, 1982, p. 94). The same trendintellectual decline with advancing age-is found in a number of cross-sectional studies of abstraction-related cognitive functions, for example, categorizing and conceptualizing (Cicirelli, 1976; Kogan, 1974), classifying (Denney, 1974; Reese & Rodeheaver, 1985), deductive reasoning (Arenberg, 1968; Hartley, 1981), generalizing (Botwanick, 1978), and others (Arbuckle, Gold, & Andres, 1986; Botawanick, 1977; Parks, Mitchell, & Perlmutter, 1986).

As with all dilemmas , evidence is met with counterevidence. 5. Abstraction in Education 21 domains of specialization, they tum to general heuristic strategies . Schoenfeld (1985 , p. " Perkins and Salomon themselves conclude, from studies showing evidence of transfer, that what is needed is much practice with a mode of thought in a variety of situations. They observe that "transfer occurs only under specific conditions, which are often not met in everyday life or laboratory experiments . . When the conditions are met, useful transfer from one context to another often occurs" (pp.

Shortcomings of Longitudinal Designs and Studies Although longitudinal strategies enable researchers to circumvent problems inhering in cross-sectional designs, the longitudinal method itself is subject to limitations that may bias results in favor of intellectual stability. Already we have seen that one threat to the internal validity of traditional longitudinal designs is the obfuscation of historical (period) and maturational (age) effects. As stated in an earlier passage quoted from Schaie, period effects may either mimic or suppress maturational changes over a particular age span.

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