Patterns of Knowledge Growth and Decline

Frank Keil

in Lifespan Cognition

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169539
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847204 | DOI:
Patterns of Knowledge Growth and Decline

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This chapter looks at several themes concerning the link between aging and cognitive development. It considers four topics that have been especially prominent in changing views of cognitive development and seem to have a special relevance for cognition in the elderly: claims of shifts in abstract thought and concrete thought, influences of intuitive theories at both implicit and explicit levels, domain specificity, and the need for hybrid models of cognition. There are several examples of shifts that seem to go from the abstract to the concrete. Two cases involve language acquisition and naïve essentialism—the attribution of essences to natural kinds and to intentional beings.

Keywords: cognitive development; cognition; elderly; concrete thought; abstract thought; intuitive theories; domain specificity; hybrid models; aging

Chapter.  6936 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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