Summary PYC2603 CHAPTER 7 MATURE THOUGHT WISDOM AND MORAL INTELLIGENCE
CHAPTER 7 - MATURE THOUGHT, WISDOM AND MORAL INTELLIGENCE
Mature thought, wisdom and moral intelligence
-moral development Orientation:
•	Postformal thought, wisdom and moral development are interrelated.
•	Growing older does not necessarily lead to the development of wisdom.
•	Older people have had more experiences, this will contribute to wisdom and morality.
•	Psychological maturity-characteristics: o flexibility and adaptability of thought;
o	an openness to change;
o	a zest for life (notwithstanding the reality of hardship);
o	commitment to one’s work; o the belief that change is possible;
o	a sense of humour and o a sense of humility.
POSTFORMAL THOUGHT Outcomes:
•	know the characteristics of postformal thought- a level of thought beyond that of Piaget’s formal operations.
•	know how to change thinking style from formal to postformal thought.
•	know how to compare immature thinkers with postformal thinkers by looking at how people reason about emotionally charged social situations.
Beyond Piaget: new ways of thinking in adulthood Piaget:-
•	thinking starts early childhood with manipulation of sensory info
•	progresses to concrete problem solving (amount of water in one container vs. other container)
•	many adolescents reach ‘formal operations’ think abstractly, systematically, logically, hypothesis.
•	Piaget says formal operations pinnacle of cognitive achievement
•	some developmentalists maintain changes in cognition extend beyond that stage
•	one line of Neo-Piagetian theory concerns higher levels of abstract reasoning,reflective thinking
•	another line – postformal thought which combines logic with emotion and practical experience in the resolution of ambiguous problems
- Reflective thinking
•	complex form of cognition, (John Dewey) – active, persistent, and careful consideration of information or beliefs in the light of the evidence that supports them and the conclusions to which they lead.
•	reflective thinkers continually question supposed facts, draw inferences, make connections.
•	Building on state of formal operations (Piaget) reflective thinkers create complex intellectual systems that reconcile apparently conflicting ideas or considerations
o e.g. putting together various theories of human development (or modern physics) into single overarching theory that explains many different kinds of behaviour
• capacity for reflective thinking emerge between ages 20 and 2
o	cortical regions of the brain that handle higher level thinking is then myelated o also brain then forms new neurons, synapses and dendritic connections.
o	environmental support stimulate development of thicker, denser cortical connections
• thus even though all adults develop the capacity for becoming reflective thinkers.....
o few obtain optimal proficiency o fewer still can apply it consistently to various kinds of problems. o e.g. young adults may understand concept of justice – but may have difficulty weighing. it in relation to other concepts – social welfare, law, ethics, responsibility. o this may be why few reach Kohlberg’s highest level of moral reasoning. o tertiary education may stimulate progress toward reflective thinking Postformal thought :
•	Adults sometimes give ‘wrong’ answers to questions, because their thinking took more factors into account. These ‘preformal’ responses could represent and advance in cognitive development. (House, same shape, different size)
•	Since late 70’s, research shows that mature thinking richer and more complex than abstract intellectual