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Growth of Cognitive Thinking During Adolescence

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1228 words Published: 11th Apr 2018

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Cassie Craft

1) When a child grows from early childhood to adolescence there are some cognitive changes in the brain. They grow faster at times and slows down when they get into adolescence. In the following I will be describing the process of growth from early childhood to adolescence. I personally have watched my daughter go through these changes. She currently is in the beginning stages of adolescence.

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Puberty has a big impact on brain development. Children have neurons that are more responsive to excitatory neurotransmitters. This makes them react without thinking. There are changes in the brain that affect sleep with children at puberty. This is because of increased neural sensitivity to light. At this time children can go to bed at a later hour than they did when they were younger and sleep good. They still require around 9 hours of sleep a night. When they do not sleep well at night adolescence are cognitively slower at tasks in the early morning. They may also suffer from mood swings and depression from lack of sleep.

The brain mass peaks for girls at age 10 ½ and it peaks for boys at age 14 ½. This is due to the continuation of neural pruning. There is growth in “white matter” around the corpus callosum in the center of the brain. There is myelination of the brain axons connecting to the nerves brain peaks more for girls than boys at this time mainly because of puberty. Hormones effect brain development also, and girls go into puberty before boys.

After puberty the brain mass peak begins to decline because pruning reduces unused neurons, and experienced shape synaptic connections. The pruning of neurons pick up in adolescence and level off around age 25. Growth in white matter start to increase and continue well into adulthood. The human brain grows in leaps and bounds with children. Most of the developmental milestones are achieved with the child attending school.

Puberty affects each child boy or girl and impacts the whole body developmental wise. Both boys and girls have estrogen and testosterone. Even in adulthood they have these hormones. Without puberty who knows people might not be as smart as they were suppost to be. It is very necessary for growth of brain mass.

2) In the following I will give three characteristics of real world examples of formal operational thinkers. Around age 12 and higher adolescence start to learn to become more formal cognitive thinkers with school assignments. The Formal cognitive development is about scientific reasoning, being able to solve problems, reasoning on variables and outcomes.

One example of real world formal cognitive development is giving an oral speech on a subject that moves the person. Recently I watched a video for this class and the girl gave a speech on being made to read a racist book about colored people. She herself is colored. Her speech was very moving and understandable even thought I am white. Another example, would be writing an essay for class about any subject. The person would write examples in the essay of the point they want to get across. The third example would be simple problem solving. Say a student in middle grade school forgets their homework. They remember their mother is home and off today. They then decide a solution to the problem is to call mom and have them bring in the homework. Once this is done problem is solved.

Next the limitations with formal cognitive thinkers. Once limitation would be the person has not developed their formal cognitive thinking all the way. For example, a student can’t put together an oral report without help. They may be intimidated and think their answers are wrong. They can have short attention spans which affect their thinking on problem solving. They have grand ideas of how the world should be which are not realistic. Some children do not think rationally and are poor at decision making. Some children could have learning disabilities that affect their decision making process.

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For all children formal cognitive development is dependent on how well they are doing educational wise in school. It also depends on the child, and if they want to do critical decision making. My child for one is hard just to get her to sit down and study for a test. I always here from her I read the material in the text and I can’t remember all of it. She is not willing to put forth the effort to do better. Her formal cognitive thinking is good at the topics she is interested in, and not good at topics she finds boring.

Cognitive formal thinking involves critical decision and reasoning skills on problem solving. This is very helpful to the child being prepared for the real world. Some children are not as good at their formal thinking as others are. Some children are hesitant to initiate input in problem solving because of low self-esteem or they think their answers are wrong.

3) In the theoretical model there are three sections that affect the human intelligence. These are biological, scio-cultural, and psychological, with bio-psychosocial system in the center. Out of all of these I will be explaining what I think is the most important in factor in human intelligence. I will also explain why it is better than the other two.

The factor I think that is most important is the psychological section. This section involves relationships with family members, object relationships, personal identity, self-esteem, adaptability. To explain why this is most important I would say it would be most important need. Psychosocial is most important role because it focuses on a person’s basic needs. In order to do well in life a person needs a home, heat, food, family needs met. The psychosocial addresses some of these basic needs. They have relationships with family and friends. They can tell what an object is and why it is there. They develop a personal identity with a good self-esteem. They can adapt to change easily. Basically, I believe they need all three to have a healthy center. Out of all of them the most important is psychological section.

The biological section affects the intelligence level to a point. A person can have perfect genetics buy have a bad home life, no relationships with family or friends, bad self-esteem. With having their basic needs met they will want to learn and improve their intelligence. Without, basic needs they don’t care about anything.

With the socio culture section is important also for improved intelligence. But again I believe in order to have a good social relationships a person has to have the basic needs met. Without the psychological needs met the person can be not friendly or open to a social relationship. They will refuse to learn, not motivated or care.

In conclusion, in order for a child to have good intelligence and care about learning they need the three factors of biological, socio culture, psychological. Out of all of these the most important is the baseline psychological. Without their basic needs met a person will not be motivated and even if they are a genus they will not care about education or problem solving. Having a good home life, personal identity and self-esteem all matter. If a person is not happy they will not have a solid center to stand on.


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