MORALITY AS SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING:By Naorem Binita Devi,From Kakching,uploaded on 5thNov.2012,www.slideshare.net
Introduction According to the cognitive- developmental perspective, cognitive maturity and social experience lead to advances in moral understanding, from a superficial orientation to physical power and external consequences toward a more profound appreciation of interpersonal relationships, societal institutions, and lawmaking systems (Gibbs,1995,2003).
PIAGET’S THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT: Piaget’s (1932/1965) early work on children’s moral judgments was the original inspiration for the cognitive-developmental perspective. To study children’s ideas about morality, Piaget relied on open- ended clinical interviews. He questions 5 to 13 year old Swiss children about their understanding of rules in the game of marbles. In addition, he gave children stories in which characters’ intentions to engage in right or wrong action and the consequences of their behaviour varied .(Henry and John).
Continue:1 Piaget identified two broad stages of moral understanding: HETERONOMOUS MORALITY (ABOUT 5 TO 10 YEARS) AUTONOMOUS MORALITY, OR THE MORALITY OF COOPERATION (ABOUT 10 YEARS AND OLDER): Heteronomous means under the authority of another. As the term, Heteronomous morality suggests, children in this 1st stage view rules as handed down by authorities (God,Parents, and Teachers) as having a permanent existence, as unchangeable, and as requiring strict obedience.
Continue:2 According to Piaget, two factors limit children’s moral understanding: The power of adults to insist that children comply, which promotes unquestioning respect for rules and those who enforce them; and Cognitive immaturity, especially children’s limited capacity to image other perspectives. Their moral understanding is characterized by REALISM---that is children regard rules as external features of reality rather than as cooperative principles that can be modified at will.
Continue:3 Autonomous morality, in which they no longer view rules as fixed but see them as flexible, socially agreed on principles that can be revised to suit the will of the majority. Children start to use a standard of fairness called “RECIPROCITY” in which they express the same concern for the welfare of others as they do for themselves. Piaget found that at first, children’s grasp of reciprocity is a crude, “tit-for-tat understanding: “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” This defines the beginning of the morality of cooperation. An advanced understanding of reciprocity as mutually of
PROBLEMS WITH PIAGET’SMORAL DEVELOPMENT Piaget presented subjects with a pair of vignettes involving protagonists whose actions varied in both their intentions and in the consequences they brought and asked children which protagonist was naughtier. On such story pair
Continue:1 “John was in his room when his mother called him to dinner. John goes down and opens the door to the dinning room. But behind the door was a chair, and on the chair was a tray with 15 cups on it. John did not know the cups were behind the door. He opens the door, the door hits the tray, bang go the 15 cups and they all get broken.
Continue:2 In contrast, One day Henry’s mother was out, Henry tried to get some cookies out of the cupboard. He climbed up on a chair, but the cookies jar was still too high, and he couldn’t reach. But while he was trying to get the cookie jar, he knocked over a cup, the cup fell down and broke.
KOHLBERG EXTENSION OFPIAGET’S THEORY Kohlberg used a more open-ended approach: He presented people with hypothetical moral dilemmas and asked what the main actor should do and why. In Kohlberg’s moral judgment Interview, individuals resolve dilemmas that present conflicts between two moral values and justify their decisions. The best known of these is the Heinz dilemma, which pits the value of obeying the law (not stealing) against the value of human life (saving a dying person). Moral maturity is determined by the “way an individual reasons about the dilemma, not the content of the response (whether or not to steal).
KOHLBERG’S STAGES OF MORALUNDERSTANDING: Kohlberg (1958) extended the age range Piaget studied, including participants who were well into adolescence by administering the moral judgment interview to 10,13,and 16 years old boys. Kohlberg drew on characteristics that Piaget used to describe his cognitive stage sequence: Kohlberg regarded his moral stages as invariant and universal---a sequence of steps that people everywhere move through in a fixed order. He viewed each new stage as building on reasoning of the preceding stage, resulting in a more logically, consistent and morally adequate concept of justice. Kohlberg saw each stage as an organized whole—a qualitatively distinct structure of moral thought that a person applies across a wide range of situations (Colby and Kohlberg,1987).
Continue:1 Kohlberg believed that moral understanding is promoted by the same factors that Piaget considered important for cognitive development. Disequilibrium, or actively grappling with moral issues and noticing weaknesses in one’s current thinking Gains in perspective taking, which permit individuals to resolve moral conflicts in increasingly complex and effective way.
Continue:2 Kohlberg organized six stages into 3 general levels. THE PRECONVENTIONAL LEVEL THE CONVENTIONAL LEVEL THE PSOT CONVENTIONAL OR PRINCIPLED LEVEL At the preconventional level, morality is externally controlled. At the conventional level, individuals continue to regard conformity to social rules as important, but not for reasons of self interest. At the post-conventional level, Individuals move beyond unquestioning support for the rules and laws of their own society. They define morality in terms of abstract principles and values that apply to all situations and societies.
THE PRECONVENTIONALLEVEL Stage: 1: The punishment and obedience orientation: Stage:2: The instrumental purpose orientation. The punishment and obedience orientation: Children at this stage find it difficult to consider two points of view in a moral dilemma. As a result, they ignore people’s intentions and instead focus on fear of authority and avoidance of punishment as reasons for behaving morally. The instrumental purpose orientation: Children become aware that people can have different perspectives in a moral dilemma, but at first this understanding is very concrete. They view right action as flowing from self-interest. Reciprocity is understood as equal exchange of favors: “you do this for me and I’ll do that for you.”
THE CONVENTIONAL LEVEL Stage:3 : The “good boy---good girl” orientation, or the morality of interpersonal cooperation; Stage:4: The social-order maintaining orientation The “good-boy and good-girl orientation or the morality of interpersonal cooperation: The desire to obey rules because they promote social harmony first appears in the context of close personalities. Stage 3 individuals want to maintain the affection and approval of friends and relatives by being a good-person—trustworthy, loyal, respectful, helpful and nice. The social order maintaining orientation: At this stage, the individual takes into account a larger perspective—that of societal laws. Moral choices no longer depend on close ties to others. Instead, rules must be enforced in the same even-handed fashion for everyone, and each member of society has a personal duty to upheld them.
THE POST CONVENTIONAL ORPRINCIPLED LEVEL Stage:5: The social-contract orientation; Stage:6: The Universal ethical principle orientation. The social contract orientation: At stage 5, individuals regard laws and rules as flexible instruments for furthering human purposes. The universal ethical principle orientation: At this stage, right action is defined by self-chosen ethical principles of consciences that are valid for all humanity, regardless of law and social agreement. These values are abstract, not concrete moral values .Stage 6 individuals typically mention such principles as equal consideration of the claims of all human beings and respect for the worth and dignity of each person.
Problems with Kohlberg’s work Like Piaget, Kohlberg has attempted to demonstrate a Universal progression of moral development by reporting the results of moral dilemma research. However, unlike Piaget, Kohlberg has focused on the moral justifications offered by his subjects rather than on their moral judgments. Moral justifications mean the expectations or rationale that a subject offers to justify his or her moral judgment or moral conduct in a given situation, usually elicited by the question, why? (Author). In Kohlberg’s research, moral justifications have been observed most often through a moral judgment scale, which presents nine interdependent situations, each presenting a moral dilemma. Situation 3 is the most famous:
HEINZ DILEMMA “ In Europe, a woman was near to 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 5 times what it cost him to make the drug. He paid $400 for the radium and charged $ 2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband Hienz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1000, 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 latter. But the druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it,so I eon’t let you have it unless you give me $ 2,000 now.” so Heinz got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife.” Q: should Heinz have done that? Why?
Naorem Binita Devi’s Dilemma Observation forresearch studies: Dilemma observation: 1 "In an academic atmosphere, an error (based on wrong imitation learning) was done and some persons may come under vulnerable condition. Assume that there was one person and the person can able to ban such wrong things. The person did not do due to some factors he observed from the atmosphere. but the external factors (other people) influenced him to inform to court and suspend such wrong things and defame the persons involved in such case. If he does, others lose their career (they are very poor and bread earner of the family). If he did not do, he had to tolerate all the criticism coming towards him from the external factors. so, he got desperate and kept quite all the time. should he has done that? why or why not?"---naorem binita devi (nbd).23.10.2012.( use gender in opposite direction)
Continue:1 Dilemma observation:2 The Person got job in another place through official way. The person received two phone calls, one call was related to come back and to take the post (in dilemma observation 1) because the person was fully qualified for thepost. another call was related not to come back again to the post otherwise others (those who are very poor and bread earner in the dilemma observation 1) will lose their job and could nt able to get job. The person again think over, if the person left the job that the person got in another place, what would happen? The person kept quite and observe the situation very carefully. should the person has to act out? why or why not? naorem binita devi (NBD).
Continue:2 Dilemma Observation:3 when an idea was set (could not share the idea over here), a group of persons have to implement such idea towards one person, so they set goals in terms of giving rewards,projects, promotions, appointment what they want; to get such things, they started using beautiful strategies (negative meaning) to implement the idea but till now they couldnot do it...now the person realized their hard work strategies to implement the idea n felt empathy for them... should the person allow that they had implemented the idea? Why and why not?...assume any idea but have to give some