Discussing uniform stages for all adolescents

Jean Piaget describes the formal operational stage as the development for the capacity for abstract, systematic, and scientific thinking. Whereas concrete operational children can only “operate on reality,” adolescents are able to “operate on operations”—to come up with more general logical rules through internal reflection. In this discussion we will explore these concepts further.

As you create your discussion post, consider the following:

Do greater capacities suddenly appear at puberty? Is it appropriate to discuss uniform stages for all adolescents? What outside factors might influences the cognitive development for adolescents?
By the end of this discussion, you will be able to:

Discuss recent research on formal operational thought and its implications for the accuracy of Piaget’s formal operational stage.
Describe the major characteristics of formal operational thought.
Complete the following:

Jean Piaget believed that around age 11, young people enter the formal operational stage, in which they develop the capacity for advanced cognitive thinking. What are the major characteristics of the formal operational stage? What is the opposing argument that challenges Piaget’s notion of a new, discrete stage of cognitive development at adolescence? Do all individuals reach the formal operational stage? Be sure to include in your response information from the textbook or other psychology-specific sources.
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