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Each of these structures is supposed to involve a set of core processes and principles which serve to organize a broad array of situations; for example, the concept of more and less for quantities, adjacency and inclusion relationships for space, and actions and intentions for social behavior.
Thus, these are very broad structures in which many executive control structures may be constructed, relative to an individual's experiences and needs.
Executive control structures enable the person to: Case also argued that development within each of these four main stages evolves along the same sequence of the following four levels of complexity (thus, structures of increasing complexity can be handled at each of the four levels): According to Case, this expansion of the capacity of short-term storage space is caused by increasing operational efficiency.
That is, the command of the operations that define each kind of executive control structures improves, thereby freeing space for the representation of goals and objectives.
The relational complexity of structures depends on the number of entities or the number of dimensions that are involved in the structure.
For instance, when the concept of number is well established at the final level of elaborated coordination of the relational stage it enables children to view numbers as related to each other and this is equivalent to the first level of operational consolidation of the following dimensional stage.
Juan Pascual-Leone was the first to advance this approach.
For instance, one needs to be able to hold two mental units in mind to be able to decide if one number is bigger than another number.
Falling short or exceeding the mental power that is typical of a given age results in slower or faster rates of development, respectively.
Based on Pascual-Leone, several other researchers advanced alternative models of capacity development.