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Kohlberg's Moral Development Stages

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Francesca Gervasi

on 12 May 2011

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Transcript of Kohlberg's Moral Development Stages

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development Background
Lawrence Kohlberg
developed the theory
as an expansion of the theory by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. The change Kohlberg made was based on the theory that moral development continued after childhood and throughout adult life. Kohlberg was a student at the University of Chicago and spent several years devoloping his theory. The Theory Moral reasoning has 3 identifiable levels
with 3 stages in each. Each stage and level has a more difficult moral dilemma. Level 1 Preconventional Morality
Stage 1: Obediance & Punishment
Rules are fixed. It is important to follow them to avoid punishment.
Stage 2: Individualism & Exchange
Choices are made based on individual need, what will benefit the individual the most.
small children Level 2 Conventional Morality
Stage 3: Interpersonal relationships
Choices are based on how they will impact the individual's relationships with others. Focus on conformity and living up to social expectations.
Stage 4: Maintaining Social Order
The focus is on upholding the law and societal rules. Choices are made with the affects it will have on society and the world as a whole in mind.
most adults, older children/teenagers Level 3 Post Conventional Morality
Stage 5: Social Contact & Individual rights
Differing values and philosiphies come into consideration. Laws are important, but should be agreed upon as a whole.
Stage 6: Universal Principles
The individual begins to follow internal principles, even if they are conflicting with law. Focus on universal ethics and abstract reasoning.
Mother Theresa, Ghandi The Heinz Dilemma A woman was dying of a rare form of cancer. There was only one drug known to help, which was recently discovered by a druggist nearby. The druggist was selling the drug at rediulous costs, so the husband of the sick woman, Heinz, broke into the store and stole the drug. Kohlberg based parts of his study off of what the stage of moral development of people like Heinz were in. The Study Kohlberg did his studies on small children, presented them with different moral situations and studied how the individual dealt with it.
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