chapter  4
14 Pages

The Construction of Rationality

As seen in Chapter 3, developmental changes in rationality during adolescence are due in large part to progress in metacognition, our increasing knowledge about our own knowledge and inference, and especially to the development of epistemic cognition, knowledge about the justifiability of our beliefs and inferential processes. There remains the question of explaining the development of epistemic cognition. A nativist would suggest that epistemic cognition is genetically programmed to develop over a period of time extending into adolescence and beyond. An empiricist would suggest that advanced epistemic conceptions are learned in educational and/or other environments. An interactionist would suggest that genetic and environmental factors interactively determine the course of development.