Sunday, July 2, 2017

Inhibitory-control theory

Good article on it here. An excerpt with my emphasis in italics.

"Piaget underestimated the rich precocious logical knowledge already present in infants and young children, and he overestimated the logical abilities of older children, adolescents and adults, who commit systematic errors even in very simple logical tasks (Houdé, 2000; Kahneman, 2011). These logical errors usually occur when older children, adolescents and adults rely on prepotent responses, illogical intuitions, or misleading strategies (such as heuristics) rather than on logical algorithms. Importantly, the ability to overcome those errors is directly related to the ability to inhibit these intuitive forms of thinking (Houdé, 2000; Kahneman, 2011; Houdé and Borst, 2014). Consequently, today the discrete Piagetian stages theory is replaced by an approach of cognitive development which is analogous to overlapping waves within a non-linear dynamic system (Siegler, 1999). In such a system, at any point in time and at any age, different strategies with different degrees of complexity and sophistication might be in conflict in the brain. According to this theoretical framework, the progressive ability of the prefrontal cortex to inhibit irrelevant or misleading strategies to activate the most logical one sustains the conceptual development of children and the shift from one Piagetian stage to the next (Houdé and Borst, 2014). This constitutes the central assumption of our new neo-Piagetian theory of reasoning development."

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