Abstract thinking is the ability to imagine other perspectives or
alternatives. It includes the ability to explore several solutions to a
problem, think about the future, imagine "what if," and understand that some
things may symbolize or stand for other things (metaphors).
Abstract thinking usually begins in the early to middle teen years
(about 12 to 14 years of age).
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics