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date: 21 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This paper demonstrates the effectiveness of a specific methodology—developmental maieutics—designed to bridge developmental research and practice by setting up an ongoing conversation between test takers and test developers. The approach involves building standardized, diagnostic educational assessments that also function as research instruments. After reviewing the research and theory behind developmental maieutics, we direct attention to a particular instance of current research and application involving the Lectical Decision Making Assessment™ (LDMA). The LDMA focuses on three aspects of decision making—perspective taking, argumentation, and the decision-making process. It has been used in a variety of contexts, most recently as an online assessment employed by researchers and management consultants to diagnose the learning needs of individual managers. Here, we show how data produced during the process of providing feedback to test takers has contributed to our understanding of an important aspect of perspective taking and perspective seeking, demonstrating how usable knowledge about human development can be constructed through an ongoing conversation between two groups of learners—test developers and test takers.

Keywords: cognitive developmental assessment, decision making, perspective taking, theory and practice, adult development

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