Concrete Operational Stage

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  • The third stage in Piaget's four theoretical stages of child development. During this stage (between about 7 and 11 years of age), the child's reasoning becomes more logical, systematic, and rational. One major characteristic of preoperational (i.e., the stage prior to the concrete operational stage) children is centration, or focusing attention on one aspect of a situation while excluding others. This ability is demonstrated using “conservation tasks,” which aim to examine a child's understanding of whether quantity, length, or number of items is related to the arrangement or appearance of the items. Another key element of the concrete operational stage is the elimination of egocentrism, or an enhanced ability to view things from the perspective of others. For more information, see Piaget (1962/1999).

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