Integrative thinking is the key : An evaluation of current research into the development of adult thinking
Kallio, E. (2011). Integrative thinking is the key : An evaluation of current research into the development of adult thinking. Theory & Psychology, vol. 21 no. 6, p. 785-801. doi:10.1177/0959354310388344
Published inTheory and Psychology
© 2011 SAGE Publications. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. This is an electronic final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Theory & Psychology by SAGE.
Post-formal relativistic-dialectical thinking has been widely claimed to be a new developmental stage of intellectual development. Other theoretical models come very close to post-formal thinking, with overlapping features such as the study of wisdom and epistemic understanding, as well as models of expertise, critical thinking, and scepticism. No coherent theory exists in the fields of post-formal and relativistic-dialectical thinking, though scholars have claimed that there is some similarity between the models. While empirical evidence of interconnectedness between them exists, a major difficulty lies in the theoretical definition of concepts. We critically assess the definitions of relativism and dialectical thinking and show these to be ambiguous and weakly defined terms. We argue that the notion of “integrative thinking” should be used instead of post-formal or relativistic-dialectical thinking. Integration can be additive or transformative. Transformational integration of various psychological domains seems to be the core component in models of adult cognitive development. ...