I’m trying to figure out what a person goes through in terms of physical and mental development. Over the years, research and studies have been conducted on the physical and mental changes that occur, particularly during adulthood. The majority of studies claim that intelligence is not determined by one’s age and cannot be assessed solely based on age. Environmental influences acquired knowledge, and life experiences all influence intelligence, according to this academic work. Crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence are two types of intelligence. Besides, Jean Piaget promotes operational thinking as a form of intelligence. Intellectual development entails the process through which an individual can acquire process, transform store and retrieve information. Every step of the cognitive process is critical especially during the performance of various tasks and duties. Adulthood, which is considered an individual’s most critical phase, is characterized by tremendous and significant psychologists gains which are followed by a physical decline. The most crucial question that arises is whether the intelligence increases or decreases during adulthood. Research indicates that young adults’ performance is better compared to that of older adults and that of middle-aged individuals. Other research assert that intelligence is directly proportional. Therefore, a middle-aged intellectual capacity may vary from person to person.

Change occurs as individual progress through the various stages of life; the changes are both physical and intellectual. “Every individual experiences age-related adjustments based on factors such as primary and secondary aging.” At adulthood, a person’s physical abilities are at their peak, including reaction time, muscle strength, cardiac functioning and sensory capacity. According to researches done intellectual development begins to stabilize and creates a moment of relativistic thinking, in which a person begins to understand the various simplistic views on what is good and bad. “ At such a phase, they begin to look at concepts and ideas from multiple angles and understand that a question can encompass more than just a right or wrong answer.” It is at such a point that individuals apply logic and can view things from different perspectives. It’s through school and careers that adults can develop skills and expertise that are useful in solving the problems they experience. Therefore, intellectual growth can be attributed to various factors and the environment that an individual is exposed.

Intelligence is categorized into two forms namely, crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence. Research indicate that crystallized intelligence is based on the knowledge that one has acquired, and the life experiences an individual is exposed. It is a consequence of; skills, information, and strategies that an individual collects as they grow up. Crystallized intelligence becomes firm and steadier as an individual grows older. Scholarly works indicate that adults in their thirties and fifties increase their scores on intelligence steadily. Fluid intelligence is dependent various underlying factors including; information-processing skills. According to research, the fluid intelligence declines before middle adulthood. Therefore, intelligence is in most instances dependent on the environment, the life experiences and the knowledge that an individual has obtained.

Cognition changes over a person’s lifespan starts to peak at around the age of thirty-five and then gradually declines in later adulthood. Since we spend so many years in adulthood (more than any other stage), the cognitive changes are numerous during this phase. Research studies conducted suggest that the adult cognitive development is a complex, and ever-changing process which is more active when compared to the cognitive development in infancy and early childhood. Unlike, our physical strengths which peaks in mid-twenties, our cognitive abilities remain relatively steady throughout our early and middle adulthood. Research has suggested that there is a reduced incidence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia in adults who engage in physical and mentally stimulating activities.

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, assert that formal operational thinking occurs during adolescence and continues into adulthood. Operational thinking is the kind of reasoning influenced by thinking abstractly, engaging in deductive reasoning and creating speculative ideas to explain various concepts”. It is at its peak during the early development stages of an individual and stabilizes at adulthood. It is considered to be the best measure of intelligence as it is innate and natural.


The cognitive process is crucial an plays a fundamental role in deliberating on the problems man face every day. It is informed by the environment an individual is exposed. Majorly, in the analyses of intelligence, one has to have in mind that there are various forms of intelligence namely; fluid, crystallized and operational thinking. Which are measured using different parameters.

Works Cited.

Dai, David Yun, and Robert J. Sternberg, eds. Motivation, emotion, and cognition: Integrative perspectives on intellectual functioning and development. Routledge, 2004.

Dawson, Theo. “Assessing intellectual development: Three approaches, one sequence.” Journal of adult development 11.2 (2004): 71-85.

Guo, Guang, and Elizabeth Stearns. “The social influences on the realization of genetic potential for intellectual development.” Social Forces 80.3 (2002): 881-910.

Paus, Tomáš. “Mapping brain maturation and cognitive development during adolescence.” Trends in cognitive sciences9.2 (2005): 60-68.

Zhao, Guanggao, et al. “Effect of Physical Activity on Cognitive Development: Protocol for a 15-Year Longitudinal Follow-Up Study.” BioMed Research International 2017 (2017). Retrieved from on 4.11.2017

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