Some empirical parameters of formal thinking
Sixty-five undergraduates were tested on five formal thinking tasks and the verbal and figural sections of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. The percentage of students operating at the formal level for three of the four ordinally scored formal problems was significantly above the 50% figure usually reported with a more intellectually representative sample of adolescents. It was suggested that the norms developed by Piaget for formal tasks were more suitable for a cognitively superior population. The low intercorrelations between formal tasks were reflected by the failure of a unified factor of the formal operations to emerge. The superior male performance on formal tasks was interpreted in terms of a social role hypothesis and the limited scientific subject matter of the problems.