Development of Postformal Thought

  • Jan D. Sinnott
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


Relationships are behaviors in which some shared truths are essential. Shared truth is shared between or among individuals in a family, couple, or society, individuals who each initially have their own views of what is true. Those truths are merged to form a couple’s outlook, or even, as Ferguson (1980) puts it, a “cultural trance.” Relationships are therefore likely to be fertile grounds for the initial logical conflicts that could nurture development of postformal thought. Two or more human knowers each bring their personal truths with them into a relationship. To have an interaction, they must somehow make those truths match in order to communicate. This necessity presents a possibility for them to enlarge their truth to accommodate to the truth of another in order to communicate well. When marriage partners, for example, each try to see the other’s point of view, they may be trying to expand their logics to see reality through another’s logical reality frame. If the framing were complex enough, the intelligence they would be using when they succeed at this task would be postformal.


Level Versus Interpersonal Relation Cognitive Level Test Taker Interpersonal Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan D. Sinnott
    • 1
  1. 1.Towson UniversityBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations