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A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence 13th Edition

A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence (13th Edition)

Book Edition13th Edition
Author(s)Martorell, Papalia
PublisherMcGraw-Hill, Inc.
Aspects of Cognitive Maturation
checkpoint can You
Moral Development
Educational and Vocational Issues

Chapter 16, Aspects of Cognitive Maturation, checkpoint can You, Exercise 01

Page 451


Theorist P was the first to propose that intelligence grows and develops through a series of stages, such that cognitive abilities develop as the child grows. This observation led to the development of the stage theory of cognitive development.  

  • The third stage of cognitive development is the stage of formal operations. Inductive reasoning develops between the age of seven to eleven. Logical thoughts of tangible objects mark inductive reasoning. Here children imagine others' viewpoints in the same situations. However, these thoughts are very rigid, implying children are unable to provide more than one solution to a problem. Difficulties are faced while imagining hypothetical concepts. They also understand that everyone will not have similar thoughts, feelings, and opinions as them.  
  • In contrast, at the fourth stage, which is the stage of formal operations, abstract reasoning develops after twelve years of age. It is marked by the understanding of hypothetical and abstract ideas, implying the sophistication of the thought process. Their thoughts become more scientific, and they are able to produce multiple solutions to a particular problem.
  • For example, at the concrete operational stage, the individual might need a pen/pencil and paper to solve a simple math problem, whereas at the formal operational stage the individual will be able to solve the problem mentally.
  • For example, when the child is in the concrete operational stage of cognitive development, he would not be able to solve the pendulum problem, because he lacks the hypothetical-deductive reasoning skills,(due to which he might scramble to find the right reason or answer) whereas when the child is in the formal operational stage of cognitive development he can solve the pendulum problem by assessing each factor separately and by using hypothetical-deductive reasoning skill. 


Initially, the reasoning ensures arriving at a general principle from specific information; however, as their thoughts develop, they determine a specific conclusion from general principles. 

Verified Answer

The mentioned concepts were explained by Theorist P in the theory of cognitive development. The theorist proposed that children develop their cognition through four different stages that play an active role in the learning process and adding information to the knowledge base as they interact with the environment and make observations. 


The two types of thought processes account for the last two stages. They vary in the following dimension:

  • Concrete operational thinking is marked by inductive reasoning.
  • Formal operational thinking involves abstract reasoning.  
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