This is the 2007 version. Click here for the 2017 chapter 10 table of contents.

The Formal Operational Stage (12-adulthood)

Around the age of 12, Piaget said, children go into a new, higher stage of cognition. The adolescent's mind becomes able to manipulate complex mental representations. Young adults become able to think in terms of abstractions—using ideas, instead of just concrete objects—in ways that formerly eluded their grasp. They can reason about hypothetical situations with precision and realism.

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