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Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

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MR Richardson

on 30 July 2014

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Transcript of Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Kohlberg Briefly
Heinz Dilemma
Level 1: Preconventional Morality
You are sually a teen by now. “Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for others.” (Kohlberg). At this stage they want to show that they have respect for others and know what they are expected to do. (textbook).
Answers are related to the approval of others (Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development)
Ex: "I'm not going to tell what he did, because I want him to like me"
Level 2: Conventional Morality
“People at this stage begin to do what is right because of a sense of obligation to laws that are agreed upon within society” . “People want to keep society functioning”. (Textbook)
“basically believe that a good society is best conceived as a social contract into which people freely enter to work toward the benefit of all They recognize that different social groups within a society will have different values, but they believe that all rational people would agree on two points" (Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development)
Ex: Not giving someone the death penalty to someone who killed 100 people, because you felt like no one should be killed no matter what and people in society get mad at you
Level 3: Postconventional Morality
Stage where they begin to believe that what society says is right. (Textbook)
Now it is not about pleasing the family but respecting duties and etc. based on the social order to keep it maintained (Kohlberg)
Ex: "you can't do that cause the teacher says you aren't allowed to!"
Level 2: Conventional Morality
Level 3: Postconventional Morality
“People at this stage have developed their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law. The principles apply to everyone.” (Kohlberg)
Ex: "You shouldn't lie because it violates the golden rule"
History
Born in Bronxville, New York 1927
Graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in one year from the University of Chicago
Continued graduate school where he focused on Jean Piaget's moral development
Became a professor and taught at the University of Chicago and also Harvard University
Died at the age of 59

Theory
He expanded on Jean Piaget's 2 stage theory of moral development
Kohlberg's theory specifies 6 stages of moral development arranged in 3 levels
He gathered data through interviews
The initial group was 72 boys from middle and lower class families in Chicago

Heinz Dilemma
Works Cited
Children were presented with different moral dilemmas such as the Heinz Dilemma
Kohlberg was not focused on their direct answer but the reasoning behind it
Their reasoning would determine their level/stage of moral development

We will participate in
the Heinz Dilemma
a little later
Stage 4
-

Maintaining the Social Order
Stage 3

- Good Interpersonal Relationships
- stage of making interpersonal relationships with people.
Stage 5
- Social Contract & Individual Rights
Stage 6
- Universal Principles
Stage 1
- Obedience and Punishment Orientation
At this level the moral code is normally shaped by rules and consequences handed down by higher authorities.
ex. If you break a rule there is a negative consequence
It is assumed that powerful authorities hand down a fixed set of rules which must be obeyed.
Therefore breaking the law is not okay.
The reasoning behind an answer is justified by the consequences.
ex. stealing is bad "because you can go to jail"
Level 1: Preconventional Morality
Stage 2
- Individualism and Exchange
At this stage children recognize that others may have different viewpoints.
Punishment is a risk that would rather be avoided.
Personal needs determine right from wrong.
ex. save your cat or get a new one
What effect has this approach made on psychology?
"He has expanded on Piaget's stages of moral judgment and has done it in a major way. He studied the development of moral reasoning as it might work its way toward the thinking of the great moral philosophers. So, although few people may ever begin to think about moral issues like Socrates, Kant, or Martin Luther King, Kohlberg has nonetheless provided us with a challenging vision of what development might be." (Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development)
What Outcomes came because of this approach?
"Kohlberg told several dilemma stories and asked many such questions to discover how people reasoned about moral issues. He identified three distinct levels of moral reasoning each with two sub stages. People can only pass through these levels in the order listed. Each new stage replaces the reasoning typical of the earlier stage. Not everyone achieves all the stages." (Kohlberg)

Some people believe that Kohlberg did not have enough research.
Others believe the study was biased.
Others believe that it doesn't really prove anything because the examples used were about marry couples and most of the people researched were of younger age.
Would we make any changes?
NOPE.
Yes, because Kohlberg gained evidence from cross-sectional data and longitudinal data, which is where he interviewed different children at various ages to see if the younger ones were at the lower stages than the older ones. Stages 1 and 2 are primarily found in younger children where the higher stages become more prevalent as age increases.

Kohlberg believed that moral development was developed through socialization. Our moral judgements are brought about through different social experiences that occur at different ages in our lifetime.
Are Kohlberg's techniques effective?
(Crain, 10)
Kohlberg asked many different scenarios not just the Heinz Dilemma and even though the initial trial was based on just young men from the lower class families of Chicago he went on to include young women and children from other socioeconomic backgrounds.
(Crain, 1)
(Crain, 2)
(Crain, 3)
(Crain, 3) (McLeod,2)
(Crain, 4)
(McLeod,2)
W.C. Crain. (1985).
Theories of Development.
Prentice-Hall. pp. 118-136. Retrieved from http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/kohlberg.htm
Saul McLeod. (2013).
Moral Development.
Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/kohlberg.html
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