Some current scientific research support that there is a clear link between human socialization activities and cognitive development. This paper explores the various research done on the subject in both sociological and clinical perspectives. The goal is to examine whether or not there is sufficient collaborative evidence between these two major mechanisms of academic research to suggest that engaging in various forms of socialization does improvement human cognitive development.
Sociological perspective A research team from the University of Michigan led by Oscar Ybarra found that people who were more engaged in social interactions showed better cognitive performance (Sage). In their work, they conducted a survey-based research as well as an experimental research using social interaction as the independent variable and cognitive development as the dependent variable (Ybarra et. al. 249).
The survey research on more than 3000 participants showed that people who responded more positively to social interaction activities were also the ones who had recorded better indicators of cognitive development (Ybarra et. l. 251). In the experimental method, participants were divided into three groups where each group had different levels of social interactivity available for the participants (Ybarra et. al. 253). Learning content was introduced to all three groups and cognitive responses were gathered from an evaluation. It was seen that the group that had better access to social interactions was able to produce significantly better results than the other groups in the succeeding evaluation (Ybarra et. l. 254 – 255).
In an earlier research also conducted by Ybarra, it was found through an experimental design that 10 minutes of talking significantly improved cognitive functioning. In their research, individuals in groups who were able to discuss certain subject matters for 10 minutes before the administration of evaluation materials were able to answer questions more accurately and generally received higher marks than individuals who were isolated to review on their own (UM).
Ybarra and his colleagues reason out that because the human brain is able to learn significantly from absorbing the input of other people regarding cognitive material. When people talk, they are able to make exchanges in their views and learn better from them. Weaknesses and faults could be realized sooner from being corrected by someone else and so it would allow people to avoid mistakes that they would have committed had they not engaged in social interaction. Clinical perspective
According to Ludlow, the complexity of the human brain can best be understood by considering how neural impulses are generated throughout the body (14). More impulses are generated the more that the organism interacts with its outside environment. Thus, the more interaction is done, the more learning is generated. This is known not only for human beings but for organisms in general. However, one unique trait that Ludlow points out about the human brain is the clear difference by which it processes sounds than other organisms (29).
Ludlow explains that for common animals, sounds are directly associated with immediate useful meaning that becomes instinctive in interpretation. For example, a doe hearing the roar of a lion would immediately run away in order to avoid falling prey. However for humans, although this instinctive processing ability is also available, what is more fascinating is the ability to interpret, internalize, and apply the comprehensible sounds that are heard. This is what allows people to learn cognitive materials by simply having them read to them.
When people talk with one another, information about many seemingly trivial things are passed from talker to listener. These information may resurface at any point back to the person’s consciousness especially when necessary. Instinctively, this shows that the things that humans hear are learned and may later be applied as necessary. Another interesting aspect about the human brain is that it is in need of regular use in order for it to maintain its abilities in processing information (Ludlow 121).
There is enough clinical evidence to suggest that people who are left in isolation are at risk of becoming insane or suffering from depression or a nervous breakdown. Clinical cases also show that such people often suffer from cognitive deficiencies (Ludlow 124). This can be explained by understanding that the human brain for as long as a person is awake is active and needs to process information in order to stay stable. Having just one other person to talk to enables a person to process a limitless amount of information and so keep cognitive functions working properly.
When kept in isolation, the person can occupy himself with reading books or engaging in other activities but as soon as those activities have worn themselves out of the person’s interest, his mind will begin to suffer (Ludlow 126). Conclusion It is clear that there are sufficient evidence based on sociological survey and experimental methods as well as clinical substantiation to suggest that social interaction does play a significant role in cognitive development. People who are able to interact with others absorb new knowledge while keeping their cognitive abilities in check. Thus, social interaction does improve cognitive development.