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Moral development dilemmas ap psych

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  • 1. NAME: _____________________________ DATE: ________ PERIOD: ______ Moral Development: A Cognitive Development Approach to Understanding Moral Reasoning Moral Development refers to growth of an individual’s ability to distinguish right from wrong to develop a system of ethical values, and to learn to act morally (Rest, 1986). A key concept to understanding moral development is internalization which refers to the developmental change from behavior that is externally controlled to behavior that is controlled by internal standards and principles. Kohlberg’s Stage Model of Moral Reasoning Level One Preconventional Stage 1: Obedience and punishment orientation (doing right or wrong is related to avoiding punishment) “I’ll do it ‘cause I don’t want to do more time. I’ll do it ‘cause I want to keep out of trouble.” Stage 2: Individualism, instrumental purpose and exchange (the individual seeks rewards) “I’m number one. I look after me. If you help me out, maybe I’ll help you sometime.” Level Two Conventional Stage 3: Good-boy, nice-girl orientation (The individual strives to gain approval or avoid disapproval –especially with family) “Sure I’d help another guy out. I’d be thinking about how he’d be feeling. Any decent person would help him.” Stage 4: Law and order orientation (conformity to society’s rules) “Look, you’re supposed to help others. It’s like a rule. Without people doing their jobs, society couldn’t function.” Level Three Postconventional Stage 5: Social contract versus individual right orientation (Principles accepted by the community) “It’s a law that the people consented to. We all have an obligation to work through the agreed structure to get laws which appear wrong changed.” Stage 6: Universal ethical principles orientation (individualized conscience) “The law should be subordinate to higher principles of justice. One should act in accordance with these superordinate principles rather than maintain simple conformity to the law.” Assumptions of Kohlberg’s Stage Model 1. Stages are structured wholes (e.g., individuals should reason at least 50% of the time at one stage of moral reasoning) 2. Invariant sequence (i.e., no skipping of stages) 3. Hierarchical integrations (i.e., includes former stage reasoning) 4. Relates to cognitive development—Cognitive development is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for moral development 5. Stages are universal (e.g., found across cultures) 6. Moral reasoning should relate to moral reasoning in real-life situations AP PSYCHOLOGY DR. JOHNSON
  • 2. NAME: _____________________________ DATE: ________ PERIOD: ______ Heinz and the Drug Dilemma (Kohlberg, 1958) In Europe a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost 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 began to think about breaking into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife. Should Heinz steal the drug? _____ should steal it _____ can’t decide ______ should not steal it Research findings related to moral development 1. People think about moral issues in five qualitatively different stages –the sixth stage does not exist empirically, only theoretically 2. +1 stage reasoning is needed to create the cognitive conflict that facilitates movement through the stages of moral development 3. adolescence is a critical period for transitioning from stage 2 to stage 3 4. the majority of adults reason at stage 4 5. 10% of adults reach stage 5 6. years of education is one of the strongest predictors of m moral reasoning 7. deliberate attempts to facilitate stage change through educational interventions have been successful ---modest, but significant. a. Interventions must include peer discussions of controversial moral dilemmas b. Participants must possess appropriate communication skills c. Educational interventions must be between 10-12 weeks long to be effective Factors facilitating moral development Indirect conditions • Democracy, sharing of power and responsibility • Fairness, impartiality in applying rules • Developing a sense of community • Organization, simple enough to be understood by the students but complex enough to promote development Direct conditions • Regular moral discussion • Fairness discussions • Role-taking opportunities • Exposure to +1 reasoning • Common decision making AP PSYCHOLOGY DR. JOHNSON
  • 3. NAME: _____________________________ DATE: ________ PERIOD: ______ Writing Moral Dilemmas A moral dilemma is a dilemma that contains moral themes or issues. Examples of “real-life” moral dilemmas may be found in newspaper articles, school-based curriculum, videos, and films. For example, a moral dilemma may present a conflict involving two of the following issues: Life Property Liberty Authority Personal Conscience Punishment Social Norms Truth Sex Roles and Issues of Acceptance Contract Components of a Dilemma • the dilemma must be a moral dilemma (vs. social conventions). • The dilemma must reflect issues that are relevant to the lives of the target audience (e.g., adolescents). • There should be character development within the dilemma. For example, the dilemma should contain an easily identifiable protagonist, a character who is striving to achieve some goal • The dilemma must be controversial. That is, the dilemma itself should raise arguments both for and against the central character’s action choice • The dilemma should contain complicating, secondary considerations. That is, be sure to include factors that complicate the central character’s choice. • The dilemma must end with a “Should” question that asks what the protagonist should do. (e.g., “Should Heinz steal the drug?”) Clarifying/Probe Questions 1. How will your actions help, hurt, or affect others than yourself? 2. What would be the consequences on society if others followed your example? 3. Would the world be a better place if everyone shared your viewpoint or acted as you do? 4. What is the right thing to do? Is that fair? 5. If you did not know the particular individuals involved, would you feel any differently? 6. If you were an objective, independent judge trying to reach the fairest solution, how would you decide? 7. How would you feel if you were on the other side? 8. How would you like it if someone did that to you or treated you that way? 9. What would your parents, or the law, or your religion say is right? 10. What does your conscience tell you to do? AP PSYCHOLOGY DR. JOHNSON