Piaget's Cognitive Stages
Newman & Newman (2007) describe stages three and four of Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Concrete Operational Thought and Formal Operational Thought respectively. Children in the Concrete stage are able to manipulate catergories, classifications, and hierarchies in groups. They have a beginning understanding of some causal relationships and are able to solve problems based on physical reality. Children in this stage are usually unable to manipulate problems that are purely philosophical or abstract or contain multiple variables. They also have difficulty taking another's perspective, whether in a hypothetical manner or in a real-life social situation.