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Kohlberg's Moral Development Theory

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Kate Alsup

on 9 June 2013

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Transcript of Kohlberg's Moral Development Theory

Summary 1. Kohlberg believed that the two main influences on moral development are cognitive growth and social interactions with equals. Heinz Steals the Drug Kohlberg's Moral Development Theory In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that? Quiz Lawrence Kohlberg was most influenced by the work of
a. Jean Piaget
b. Fritz Perls
c. Himself
d. all of the above Quiz Kohlberg's theory deals with
a. moral thinking
b. moral action Quiz Kohlberg theorized how many stages of development?
a. 2
b. 4
c. 6
d. 0 Quiz Children develop morally by
a. being taught the correct morals by adults
b. by being left alone
c. by cognitive disequilibrium
d. none of the above Jean Piaget Lawrence Kohlberg Moral Reasoning: Cognitive development theory Moral Reasoning: Cognitive Development Theory Premoral period Heteronomous morality Autonomous morality Preschool years - children show little awareness or understanding of rules and cannot be considered moral beings. 6 to 10 years - children take rules seriously, believing that they are sacred and unalterable. Judge violations as wrong based on extent of damage done, not based on intentions. 10 or 11 years and older - Most children enter this final stage and begin to appreciate that rules are agreements between individuals. In judging actions, they pay more attention to intentions than consequences. Level 1: Stage 1: obedience and punishment orientation Stage 2: individualism & exchange Preconventional Morality Rules are external to the self rather than internalized. Goal is avoidance of punishment or reward acquisition. The authorities hand down rules that must be obeyed unquestioningly. Morality is external. What is right is what meets one's own self-interests. Punishment is a risk that one wants to avoid. Children speak as isolated individuals, not as members of society. They do not identify with the rules of community. Level 2: Stage 3: "Good Boy" or "Good Girl" Morality Stage 4: maintaining the social order Level 3: Stage 5: social contract and individual rights Stage 6: universal principles Conventional Morality The individual has internalized many moral values. One strives to uphold the rules of society, at first to win approval, later to maintain social order. Other people's perspectives are considered. Children think that people should live up to the expectations of the community and have good intentions. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for others. One is concerned with society as a whole. Emphasis is on obeying laws, respecting authority, and performing one's duties so that the social order is maintained. One makes moral decisions from the perspective of society as a whole, they think from a full-fledged member-of-society perspective. Postconventional Morality Individual defines what is right in terms of broad principles of justice that have validity apart from the views of particular authority figures. Individual can distinguish between what is morally right and what is legal, recognizing that some laws violate basic moral principles. Good society is a social contract that individuals enter into to work for the benefit of all. Individuals think independently about what society ought to look like. Morality and rights are more important than laws. Defines the principles by which we achieve justice. Everyone deserves equal respect and treatment. A person at this stage would be able to put him or herself in the "chair" of every other person and consider what is best for all. 2. Reaching the conventional level and becoming concerned about living up to the moral standards of society requires the ability to take the perspective of others. 3. This will promote growth-producing disequilibrium when one's own ideas conflict with those of other people. Criticisms 1. It is dangerous for people to place their own principles above society and the law. 2. Based on Western societies. 3. Does not apply well to women. Gilligan argues that for women, morality does not depend on rights and rules but on interpersonal relationships and the ethics of compassion and care. According to Kohlberg's scale, women rarely score past a 3. Men often score a 4 or 5. If the scale were more sensitive to women's interpersonal orientation, it would show that women also continue to develop their thinking. How do you answer Heinz's dilemma? Lawrence Kohlberg
1927-1987
Finished undergraduate in 1 year
University of Chicago
Based on Piaget's work
Founder of Moral Development Quiz Criticism of this theory is that it
a. fails to account for non-western societies
b. does not apply to women's interpersonal reasoning
c. prizes the placement of an individual's own beliefs of right and wrong over societal norms and law
d. all of the above Journal Article Culture and the quest for universal principles in moral reasoning. Sachdeva, Singh, and Medin, 2011. The study of moral principles has largely focused on the search for universal principles of morality. This article presents the results of research into cross-cultural variability in moral reasoning. It suggests that the expectation of universal moral principles will lead to an underestimation in how people think of what is moral and immoral.
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