operation

a term from the work of Jean Piaget (1896-1980), referring to a mental process by which a learner can combine, separate, and transform information in a logical way. In the earlier stages of learning, Piaget uses the term preoperational to refer to the way in which such a learner is confused by appearance, struggles to decentre their thinking, and muddles issues about causation and consequences, owing to a nonlogical approach.