14 Adolescence – Cognitive Development

After this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe Piaget’s formal operational stage and the characteristics of formal operational thought

  • Compare Theories - Lawrence’s Kohlberg’s Moral Development and Carol Gilligan’s Morality of Care

  • Explain the Information Processing Theory

  • Describe the strategies for memory storage

  • Explain the areas of transition for adolescence

During adolescence more complex thinking abilities emerge. Researchers suggest this is due to increases in processing speed and efficiency rather than as the result of an increase in mental capacity—in other words, due to improvements in existing skills rather than development of new ones (Bjorkland, 1987; Case, 1985). Let’s explore these improvements.