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They are being systematic in the way they are trying it, by isolating one variable at a time, like Kelly's hair or her smile.
Piaget noticed that adolescents in the formal operational period become systematic in the way that they approach scientific experimentation. He gave kids a set of weights and a piece of string and asked them to make a pendulum that would swing the fastest.
Maybe he'd say hi then, and they would know it was her smile.
Kelly and her friends are engaging in scientific experimentation, which involves testing a hypothesis by isolating variables.
But on this day, something happened: Jordan, the boy she has a crush on, said hi to her in the hallway!
He'd never done that before, and Kelly was so excited that he finally noticed her! She was wearing a new outfit, so maybe that was it.
Piaget found that younger children would randomly change variables without thinking things through, while adolescents capable of formal operations would systematically change one variable at a time to see how it affected the swing speed of the pendulum, much in the same way that Kelly and her friends are experimenting with what captures Jordan's attention.
Adolescence is the period of life between childhood and adulthood.
Kelly and her friends have become very good at figuring out the world around them.
For example, one day, Kelly went to school like normal.