Show Summary Details

p. 303. Formal operational thought, moral development, and identitylocked

  • Peter K. Smith

Abstract

Cognitive development occurs throughout childhood, and it is marked by advances in perceptual abilities, short- and long-term memory, ability to focus attention selectively, and reasoning abilities. Such advances continue in adolescence, generally but also in specific ways, notably: metacognition (being able to think about your own thinking processes), abstract reasoning, and hypothesis testing (as in scientific reasoning). Following from this are the possibility of higher levels of moral reasoning; so-called adolescent egocentrism; and a quest for identity—reflecting on who you are and what you want to be. ‘Formal operational thought, moral development, and identity’ considers the three major theorists in these domains: Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Erik Erikson.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.