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Lifespan CognitionMechanisms of Change$
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Ellen Bialystok and Fergus I. M. Craik

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169539.001.0001

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Patterns of Knowledge Growth and Decline

Patterns of Knowledge Growth and Decline

Chapter:
(p.264) 18 Patterns of Knowledge Growth and Decline
Source:
Lifespan Cognition
Author(s):

Frank Keil

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169539.003.0018

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

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