Piagetian tasks as predictors of behavioral competence in the aged

Cyr, James John (1976) Piagetian tasks as predictors of behavioral competence in the aged. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

It was hypothesized that two Piagetian tasks employed in assessing Piagetian cognitive development (namely, The Oscillation of a Pendulum and the Operations of Exclusion and Equilibrium in Balance) would be valid and reliable measures of cognitive ability of institutionalized aged adults. -- It was also hypothesized that these two tasks would be at least as good as other cognitive tasks (namely, the Vocabulary and Digit span subtests of the W.A.I.S. Set Test, and Associate Learning subtest of the W.M.S.) in predicting the behavioral status (measured by the Stockton Geriatric Rating Scale; SGRS) of the aged participants. The assessment of a young (X age = 27.2 years) and an institutionalized aged (X age = 83.0 years) sample population clearly demonstrated that although the I.Q. levels (measured by the W.A.I.S. Vocabulary subtest) were equal, the young sample performed significantly better on the Piagetian tasks (i.e., they functioned at a higher level of cognitive development) than the geriatric sample. -- The results indicated that the Piagetian tasks are valid and reliable measures of cognitive ability with these institutionalized adults. They were found to be the best predictors of behavioral status in comparison with other cognitive tasks which are usually employed in assessing a geriatric sample. The SGRS scores were best predicted by a combination of the mean scores of the two Piagetian tasks, W.A.I.S. Vocabulary subtest, and the Set Test (accounted for over 25% of the variance). The remaining cognitive tasks, sex, and age, either alone or in combination with the three aforementioned cognitive tasks, account for relatively little variance in predicting the SFRS scores. -- There was some evidence that the three best predictors of the SFRS lay on a bipolar dimension with the Piagetian tasks and the Set Test at one end and the W.A.I.S. Vocabulary subtest at the opposite end. It was suggested that this finding appears to be incompatible with Cattell’s theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence. -- It was concluded that the use of age as a predictor variable, in itself, provides little information about an individual that could not be discovered much more accurately with even minimal psychological testing. The importance of health factors, environmental influences, and the relationship between Piagetian theory and these environmental influences are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7309
Item ID: 7309
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 60-67.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1976
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cognition--Ability testing; Old age--Research

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