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Moral Development

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Developmental Psychology
- Moral Development

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Moral Development

  1. 1. LAWRENCE KOHLBERG MORAL DEVELOPMENT
  2. 2. LAWRENCE KOHLBERG - (born on October 25, 1927 — died on January 17, 1987) - American psychologist and educator known for his theory of moral development. - A psychologist who portrayed on education, anthropology, and philosophy, to inform his work on the development of moral judgment and on moral behavior.
  3. 3. WHAT IS MORAL DEVELOPMENT? • Moral Development is an aspect of a person’s overall development that follows over the course of a lifetime. • Moral Development is growth and, like all growth, it takes place according to a pre-determined sequence.
  4. 4. KOHLBERG'S THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT • This theory is a stage theory. In other words, everyone goes through the stages sequentially without skipping any stage. • Assessed moral reasoning by posing hypothetical moral dilemmas and examining the reasoning behind people’s answers. • Proposed three distinct of moral reasoning: Pre- conventional, Conventional, and Post- conventional.
  5. 5. HOW DID KOHLBERG COME UP WITH THE THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT? • All his ideas started from the research he performed with very young children as his subjects. He found out that children are faced with different moral issues, and their judgments on whether they are to act positively or negatively over each dilemma are heavily influenced by several factors. In each scenario that Kohlberg related to the children, he was not really asking whether or not the person in the situation is morally right or wrong, but he wanted to find out the reasons why these children think that the character is morally right or not.
  6. 6. • For purposes of illustration, Kohlberg uses the Heinz Dilemma. The Heinz Dilemma: 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 pharmacist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the pharmacist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. 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 pharmacist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the pharmacist 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.
  7. 7. SIX STAGES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT Level 1: Pre-Conventional Moral Development  Stage 1 Punishment-Obedience Orientation Stage 2 Instrumental Relativist Orientation  Level 2: Conventional Moral Development  Stage 3 Good boy-Good girl Orientation  Stage 4 Law and Order Orientation Level 3: Post-Conventional Moral Development  Stage 5 Social-Contract Legalistic Orientation  Stage 6 Universal Ethical Principle Orientation
  8. 8. LEVEL 1: PRE-CONVENTIONAL MORALITY [BIRTH-ADOLESCENCE] - Young children do not really understand the conventions or rules of a society.  Stage 1 - Punishment-Obedience Orientation - Related to Skinner’s Operational Conditioning, this stage includes the use of punishment so that the person refrains from doing the action and continues to obey the rules.
  9. 9. • Stage 2 - Self Interest Orientation / Instrumental Relativist Orientation - In this stage a good action is seen as one that is in the best interest of the individual. Favours may be done for another child so that in return favours will be returned by the other. Lies could be told to cover for another so that in return a similar favour is owed to the individual. The underlying concern of stage thinking is “what’s in it for me”. The child will follow rules if there is a known benefit to him or her. Children in this stage are very concerned with what is fair. LEVEL 1: PRE-CONVENTIONAL MORALITY [BIRTH-ADOLESCENCE]
  10. 10. LEVEL 2: CONVENTIONAL MORALITY [ADOLESCENCE-YOUNG ADULTHOOD] • Stage 3 - “Good boy-Good girl" Orientation - Individuals at this stage of moral reasoning will try to win the approval of others so that their identity is perceived as good. The acceptance of the individual by the peer group has a huge impact in terms of what actions are considered good or bad. At this stage people tend to judge the morality of actions in terms of evaluating their consequences in relation to a person’s relationships. Good and bad intentions are recognised. People want their relationships to be characterised by respect, gratitude and treating others as we wish to be treated. A good action is therefore on that will bring about this positive result.
  11. 11. Stage 4 – Law and Order Orientation - The desire to have a functioning society is at the heart of this stage of moral reasoning. Laws, norms and conventions become very important in so far as they maintain a functioning society. People at this stage of moral reasoning have moved beyond the strong need for individual approval associated with stage three. The concern at stage four is transcending individual needs in favour of the needs of society as a whole. LEVEL 2: CONVENTIONAL MORALITY [ADOLESCENCE-YOUNG ADULTHOOD]
  12. 12. Stage 5 - Social-Contract Legalistic Orientation - At this stage it is recognised that individuals can hold different opinions and values and these should be respected impartially. It is believed that contracts will allow the individual and society to both increase their welfare. It is therefore known as a contractual perspective. Freedom of choice becomes important and certain fundamental principles are upheld, such as the right to life and the right to choose. At this stage, no single choice is seen as right or absolute since others do not have the moral authority to judge the actions of the individual. LEVEL 3: POST-CONVENTIONAL MORALITY [ADULTHOOD]
  13. 13. Stage 6 – Universal Ethical Principle Orientation - Moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning at this stage. Conscience is seen as an important factor in making moral decisions. Mutual respect is valued as a universal principle. Laws are seen as valid only in so far as they promote the principle of justice. Therefore, there is an obligation on people to disobey an unjust law. Decisions are met categorically and in an absolute way rather that with conditions attached. LEVEL 3: POST-CONVENTIONAL MORALITY [ADULTHOOD]
  14. 14. 4 QUALITIES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT 1. Stage development is steady. - one must progress through the stages in order, and one cannot get to a higher stage without passing through the stage immediately preceding it.
  15. 15. 2. Subjects cannot comprehend moral reasoning at a stage more than one stage beyond their own. - Thus a person at stage two, who categorizes good and bad on the basis of his own pleasure, cannot comprehend reasoning at stage four which appeals to fixed duties the performance of which need not offer any promise of reward or pleasure.
  16. 16. 3. Subjects are cognitively attracted to reasoning one level above their own main level. - A stage one person will be attracted by stage two reasoning, a stage two person by stage three reasoning, and so on. Kohlberg states that reasoning at higher stages is cognitively more acceptable than reasoning at lower stages, since it resolves problems and dilemmas in a more satisfactory way.
  17. 17. 4. Movement through the stages is effected when cognitive uncertainty is created. - That is, when a person’s cognitive outlook is not suitable to cope with a given moral dilemma. If in a given situation one’s cognitive framework cannot resolve a problem, the cognitive organism adjusts to a framework which does. Yet if a person’s orientation is not disturbed there is no reason to expect any development.
  18. 18. • These qualities of moral development are, as I said, important to keep in mind. Because they have not only been verified time and again by research but they also make sense if one looks at the development of one’s cognitive capacity as a kind of orderly growth. • Kohlberg believed, as Piaget did, that most moral development occurs through social interaction.

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