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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1985 Apr;48(4):947-62.

Ego development in college.


Using the Sentence Completion Test for ego development, we studied several cohorts of students between 1971 and 1979 at a technological institute (Tech) and between 1974 and 1979 at a predominantly liberal arts university (MU). Ego level tended to rise slightly except among women at MU, for whom there was a slight but consistent loss. This particular finding challenges one assumption of a widely accepted version of Piagetian theory: that stage development is irreversible. Women tended to enter MU slightly ahead of men in ego level, but left at the same level. Contrary to expectation, men and women appeared to gain more at Tech than at MU; the difference was significant only for women.

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