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The progress in the cognitive areas for the adolescents usually accompanies the changes in physical development.Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development describes how people perceive, think and acquire understanding of their world through the interaction and influence of genetic and learning factors.
Each of these stages is more advanced than the preceding stage because it involves new reasoning and thinking abilities.
From twelve years old through adulthood, a person is in the formal operational stage which is Piaget’s fourth cognitive stage.
In this stage, an adolescent like Brian develop thinking and reasoning similar to typical adults.
Brian encounters new worlds of abstract concepts and discusses hypothetical situations and problems.
When asked if he thinks it is right to rob money from others, he felt that what he did was wrong but he wants to be fully accepted by his friends.
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He also mentioned that his friend’s mother is going to die soon and he could not stand to see her suffer.
In the interview, Brian mentioned that he is involved with a group of teenage boys who has asked him to collect money to defray the hospital bills of one of their group member’s mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
When he was caught by school authorities, Brian blamed the society’s failure to meet the medical and health care needs of the poor and he is only doing what is best for the sick and dying person.
Piaget believes that all people go through the same four stages, e.g.
sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages (Santrock, 1990).