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Kholberg's Stages of Moral Development

AP Psychology

Sara Underhill

on 5 June 2013

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Transcript of Kholberg's Stages of Moral Development

Kholberg's Stages
of Moral Development Kholberg's Stages
of Moral Development Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Preconventional Morality Conventional Morality Post-Conventional Morality Focus: Significant others
Ages: 13- Middle age;
some never move
from this stage. Complete external authority
Reasoning is based on the
physical consequences of actions.
Pleasure and pain principle. Focus: Self
Ages: 0-13 years Morality is defined from internal principles.
Live by your own ethics; sometimes society is wrong
Use personal judgement to determine right and wrong. Focus: Justice, Human
Ages: Few reach this
stage; almost never
before middle age. Level One: Stage One Obedience & Punishment
Oriented Reasoning:
Won't do anything wrong because they don't want to get into trouble.
If you are being punished, then you did something wrong. Actions:
Do good so you don't get punished.
Follow all rules. Maintain order and uphold expectations of society.
Use the societal norms to determine right and wrong.
Believe the world is just. Level One: Stage Two Obedience & Punishment
Oriented Reasoning:
What is in it for me?
I'll do something for you if you do something for me. Actions:
Do unto others as they do unto you.
Eye for an eye. Conformity Driven Level Two: Stage Three Reasoning:
Need to please and help others for approval.
Evaluate actions based on intentions.
Need to be seen as a good person by others. Actions:
Good Boy/Girl motives.
Do good in hopes to be liked and thought well of. Authority & Social Order Oriented Level Two: Stage Four Reasoning:
Do good out of sense of obligation to rules, not naturally.
Will feel guilty if disobey rules.
Everyone must follow all rules to keep society running. Actions:
Follow the higher authority.
Everyone must follow the rules. If law breaking is allowed then eventually anarchy will reign. Level Three: Stage Five Social Contract Oriented Reasoning:
Everyone is entitled to their opinions and must be respected.
Democratic government & natural rights are necessary for livelihood.
Rules must be rational Actions:
The greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Change unfair laws to improve society. Level Three: Stage Six Universal Principles Reasoning:
Morals are based on abstract reasoning.
Laws are only valid if they are just.
Will not hesitate to disobey laws.
Radical Actions:
Will not hesitate to break the law.
Prepare own set of rules without considering society's preconceived notions. Lawrence Kohlberg insists that stage six exists, but he found it very difficult to find people who would consistently operated at stage six. After this realization he stopped scoring anyone at stage six, calling it a theoretical stage. Presented By: Sara Underhill
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