The child in the concrete operational stage deals with the present, the here and now; the child who can use formal operational thought can think about the future, the abstract, the hypothetical. Piaget’s final stage coincides with the beginning of adolescence, and marks the start of abstract thought and deductive reasoning. Thought is more flexible, rational, and systematic. The individual can now conceive all the possible ways they can solve a problem, and can approach a problem from several points of view. The adolescent can think about thoughts and “operate on operations, not just concrete objects. He or she can think about such abstract concepts as space and time. The adolescent develops an inner value system and a sense of moral judgment. He or she now has the necessary “mental tools” for living his life.

Formal Operational Stage

(11 Years to older)

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