Introduction: The Creation of a Theory and the Purpose of This Book. The Theory: Description and Development of Postformal Thought. The Limits of Traditional Approaches for Understanding Adult Logical Development. What Characterizes Postformal Thought? How Does Postformal Thought Develop? New Physics Models Underlying Postformal Thought Background. General Systems Theory Underlies Postformal Thought. Some Research to Support the Theory: Studies of Complex Postformal Thought. Initial Research: How Do Adults Use Logical Thought? Interview and Thinking Aloud Studies: A View of Process. Age Differences in Process. Emotion, Intention, Health, Goal Clarity and other Factors in Postformal Thought. Applications of the Theory of Postformal Thought at Home and in the `Big Picture': Applications of Postformal Theory to Education. Reinventing the University to Create and Serve Postformal Thinkers. Postformal Thought and Multiperson Groups: The Workplace. Postformal Thought and Multiperson Groups: Couples and Families. The Next Steps: Interventions - Teaching Postformal Thinking and Using Postformal Thought to Live in Balance: Can We Teach Adults to Use Complex Postformal Thought? Postformal Thought and Living in Balance. 6 Additional Chapters. Appendices. Indexes.
In this book Jan D. Sinnott synthesizes her 20 years of research on lifespan cognitive development to describe the growth of complex (or `postformal') thought in adults. She shows specifically how adults improve mentally over a lifetime and learn to think in more complex and wiser ways. Applications of postformal thought are demonstrated in such diverse areas as - family relations - adult education - personal identity - and spirituality. Chapters examine relations between postformal thought and pertinent variables such as age, health, memory, and vocabulary. Other sections deal with issues in humanistic psychology such as - guided imagery - mind - body medicine - and creative intentionality.
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