Cognitive development of personality in adolescence - Pedagogical psychology

Cognitive development of personality in adolescence

As evidenced by the results of psychological research, by the time of adolescence, basic mental abilities have already been formed. However, the process of development of the cognitive sphere of the personality continues at this age and throughout the life of a person. But the youthful age has its own characteristics. Thus, for example, young men and women are particularly successful in mastering complex intellectual operations. Their mental activity becomes more effective and sustainable in comparison with similar activities of adolescents. Especially characteristic for this age is the intensive development of special abilities. During this period of life, interests usually acquire a clearly expressed focus, which contributes to the complication and individualization of the structure of mental activity of boys and girls. Specialization of interests and differentiation of abilities make more relief and all other individual differences.

At the age of early adolescence, according to J. Piaget, the ability to abstract mental operations from objects over which these operations are performed is clearly manifested. This complication of mental actions has an important influence on all other aspects of life, including emotions. Entering the phase of intellectual development, which Piaget called the phase of formal operations, causes in boys a special attraction to general theories, schemes, formulas, etc. The propensity to theorizing is so widespread at this age that it can be described as an age-specific feature. The schematic general begins to predominate over the private, and as a result, new theories of politics, philosophy, formulas of happiness or love are born. J. Piaget, not without irony noticed that in this age period even the girl's dream of narrowing turns out to be a theory integrating a multitude of heterogeneous properties, many of which are incompatible or very rarely combined.

F. Piaget also singles out a special youthful egocentrism. By assimilating the entire surrounding world into his universal schema-theories, the young man, according to Piaget, behaves as if the world should obey his theoretical constructs, and not the theoretical constructions of reality. These features have a significant impact on the education and upbringing of young men.

Thinking activity of young men is more active and independent, in comparison with teenagers. They are critical to teachers and their idea of ​​the interestingness of the academic subject is built not so much on its external attractions, but on what requires deep deliberation. In this case, the attraction of young men to generalizations, to the search for fundamental ideas and laws that unite particular facts finds itself. Often, young people tend to overestimate the level of their own knowledge and mental capabilities, the breadth of cognitive interests sometimes leads to "sprawl". At this age, individual differences in levels and focus of mental interests, general and especially special abilities are significantly increased.

As a result of his research, Piaget came to the conclusion that the young men often use their mental abilities selectively, intensively manifesting them in those fields of activity that they consider to be the most significant and interesting. In parallel, in many cases, they can do with the same skills. Therefore, in order to identify the real intellectual potential of an individual at this age, it is first necessary to single out the sphere of her preferential interests, in which she maximally reveals her abilities. And only on this material can we draw objective conclusions about mental development.

These circumstances formally facilitate the decision of the choice of young men and girls of their own further educational trajectory, but they do not remove the main difficulties that arise in the solution of this important task. Stay in your school or go to another school? In which classroom to continue their studies? Which additional educational institutions should be visited? It is extremely difficult to take such a decision, and experience shows that there are fewer problems in the future for those young men who took into account long-term life prospects, rather than guided by immediate desires.

The process and result of choosing your own educational trajectory is always individual, and special studies have revealed a number of typical features characteristic of most young men and women. So, for example, it is noticed that young men and women who decided to leave school tend to be dominated by a pragmatic type of development. They usually stand out among peers with low academic success and, as a rule, low appreciate their cognitive abilities. They care little about their life prospects and when deciding on their own educational plans are usually guided by random factors (the opinion of friends, etc.). They aspire as quickly as possible, often without reckoning with the means, to gain independence from the family and the school. For some young men and women, the decision to leave school before secondary education can be the only correct decision, but in most cases this is a symptom that indicates a problem in mental development (VA Ponomarchuk, A. V. Tolstykh).

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