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Lecture 2

PSYC 437 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Metacognition, Inductive Reasoning, Deductive Reasoning

Course Code
PSYC 437
David Schwartz

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Cognitive Transitions:
Basic Cognitive Changes of Adolescence (Thinking about possibilities, thinking
about abstract concepts, metacognition, multidimensional thinking)
-Thinking about possibilities
-Thinking about abstract concepts
-Thinking in multiple dimensions
1) Adolescents are better able than children to think about what is possible,
instead of limiting their thought to what is real. (Think about possibilities)
-The central feature of transition is movement from inductive reasoning to
deductive reasoning
2) Adolescents are better able than children to think about abstract things
(Thinking about abstract concepts)
3) Adolescents think more often than children about process of thinking itself.
(Metacognition: The process of thinking about thinking itself)
For example, a child might be able to solve a difficult problem but will not
understand HOW he or she solved the problem.
A adolescent is capable of introspection, and can understand his o r her own
thought processes. As a result, adolescents can improve their reasoning abilities.
4) Adolescent’s thinking, compared to children’s is more often multidimensional,
rather than limited to a single issue.
(Multidimensional Thinking)
-Children tend to conceptualize situations from one specific perspective, whereas
adolescents can simultaneously consider multiple aspects
-Multidimensional thinking allows for a better understanding of proabitilties, and
more accurate predictions for the future.
5) Adolescents are more likely than children to see things are relative, rather than
as absolute. (Relativism, rather than absolute)
-Children tend to think in black and white, all or nothing terms

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-Adolescents can appreciate a continuum of possibilities
-Thinking becomes less absolute and there is recognition for variability.
Inductive vs. Deductive Problem Solving
Inductive: Reasoning based on the accumulated information. This type of reasoning is
dependent on the specific information that available.
Deductive: Logical connections are made between different items of information.
Inductive Reasoning:
Q: Does Professor Schwartz have a graduate degree?
All of the professors I’ve had at USC have graduate degrees. So professor Schwartz has
a graduate degree.
Deductive Reasoning:
-Schwartz is a professor at USC
-USC requires that all professors have graduate degrees
-Professor Schwartz must have a graduate degree
Abstract vs. Concrete Thinking
Concrete Thought: Focus on the observable properties of objects or situations.
Abstract Thought: Recognition of higher-order relations between objects that may not
be directly observable The capacity to reason based on inferred properties.
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