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Concrete Operational Stage of CognitiveDevelopment

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Concrete Operational Stage of CognitiveDevelopment

The concrete operational stage takes place from around ages 7 to 11.

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  • concrete operational stage
  • jean piaget
  • cognitive development
  • child development

Characteristics of Concrete Operations:

The concrete operational stage begins around age seven and continues until approximately age eleven. During this time, children gain a better understanding of mental operations. Children begin thinking logically about concrete events, but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts.


Piaget determined that children in the concrete operational stage were fairly good at the use of inductive logic. Inductive logic involves going from a specific experience to a general principle. On the other hand, children at this age have difficulty using deductive logic, which involves using a general principle to determine the outcome of a specific event.


One of the most important developments in this stage is an understanding of reversibility, or awareness that actions can be reversed. An example of this is being able to reverse the order of relationships between mental categories. For example, a child might be able to recognize that his or her dog is a Labrador, that a Labrador is a dog, and that a dog is an animal.

More From This Series:


Santrock, John W. (2008). A topical approach to life-span development (4 ed.). New York City: McGraw-Hill.

Piaget, J. (1977). Gruber, H.E.; Voneche, J.J. eds. The essential Piaget. New York: Basic Books.

Piaget, J. (1983). Piaget's theory. In P. Mussen (ed). Handbook of Child Psychology. 4th edition. Vol. 1. New York: Wiley.

Kendra Cherry

Kendra Cherry
Psychology Guide

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