Child and Adolescent Psychology

Lesson 4 Assignment #1: Critical Thinking Exercise
Indicate which of the following cases illustrate preoperational and concrete operational
thinking. Read each case and explain why the child’s statements reflect
preoperational or concrete operational thinking. Use key terms/concepts from
Piaget’s theory. If neither preoperational nor concrete operational thinking are
illustrated, identify & explain which other stage of Piaget’s theory best illustrates
the thinking.
A. Katie is asked, “Do you have a brother?” She says, “Yes.” Then she is asked,
“Does he have a sister?” She answers, “No.”
B. Ray says, “A fly is like both insects and birds. It’s like birds because it flies, but
it’s like insects because it has six legs.”
C. Tim is working on analogies. He declares, “Biking is to pedaling as riding in a car
is to stepping on the gas pedal because they both make the vehicle go!”
D. Bobby states, “I understand how this nickel and these five pennies are the same as
this dime.”
E. Her teacher asks Mary, “How can the scale be brought back into balance?” Mary
replies, “The only way to do that is to remove the weight that made one pan sink
lower than the other.”

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