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Adolescence, 6/e
Laurence Steinberg, Temple University

The Fundamental Changes of Adolescence
Cognitive Transitions

Essay Questions


Given the degree to which cognitive abilities change during adolescence, discuss whether or not it is reasonable to expect adolescents to make serious decisions and choices about career goals and plans.

Compare and contrast the major theories of cognitive development (Piaget, information-processing, Sternberg, Vygotsky) and evaluate their utility for understanding real-life experiences of adolescents.

Given the vast increase in what we know about the development of the brain during adolescence, what kinds of questions should scientists try to answer in terms of the relations between brain development and cognitive ability and academic achievement?

Many students often complain that standardized tests do not measure their true ability and shouldn't be used by schools to evaluate their overall intelligence. Given what others, like Robert Sternberg, Howard Gardner, and Robbie Case, have suggested concerning cognitive development, how could standardized tests be changed to more comprehensively assess cognitive ability?

Describe how changes in cognitive abilities are taken "to extremes" by adolescents. In other words, how do adolescents "overuse" new cognitive abilities during adolescence?