Living through four eras of cognitive development

This article is based on my research in adult cognitive development, published in Laske 2008 and 2015. It reminds the reader that his/her thinking undergoes life-long changes that have a dramatic impact on work effectiveness and quality of life, especially the latter. The notion that there are no changes in thinking after early adulthood is thoroughly debunked. It is shown that the structure of “thinking” is built of “thought forms”, and that how these forms are linked and coordinated internally determines not only the flexibility of thinking but also how far human thinking is enabled to grasp the real world in all of its complexity. “Thinking” is also shown to shape emotional life since every emotion is saturated with thinking, in contrast to mere feeling. The article places thinking into a developmental progression from Common Sense to Understanding to Reason and Practical Wisdom, inspired by Bhaskar’s notion of the UDR movement (Bhaskar 1993). It showcases an independent line of adult development of great influence on Kegan’s “social-emotional” sequence of stages. ILR August 24 2012

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