Moral development - Kohlberg's theory

  • Moral Dilemmas

    Moral Dilemmas are social problems which have two or more solutions. each of which is 'wrong' in some way.
  • Kohlberg;'s theory of Moral Development

    Kohlberg believes that the moral stage of an individual is not determined byt their actions but they justifications behgond these thoughts. His theory is based on a number of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
  • Kohlberg's Heinz dilemma

    A well-known moral dilemma created by Kohlberg is the Heinz dilemma, this is the scenario:
    "Heinz's wife was near death, and her only hope was a drug that had been discovered by a pharmacist who was selling it for an exorbitant price. The drug cost $20,000 to make, and the pharmacist was selling it for $200,000. Should he steal the drug, as the pharmasist is unwilling to give it to him?"
    STAGE 1: "He shouldnt steaal the drug as he could get caught and sent to jail.
  • kohlberg;s heinz dilemma continue

    STAGE 2: It wont do him any goosd to steal the drug, as his wife will probably die before he gets out of jail."
    STAGE 3: "He shouldnt steal the drug because others will think he is a thief, his wife wouldnt want to be saved by theivery"
    STAGE 4: "Although his wife needed the drug, he shouldnt break the law to get it"STAGE 5: "He shouldnt steal the drug, the pharmisists decision is reprehensible, but the mutual respect for the rights of others must be maintained"
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    Preconventional Level

    This is the first level of Kohlberg's Moral Development theory. In this stage, children have little awareness of moral behaviours that are socially and culturally acceptable. They dont truly believe in rules but follow them because of authority such as adults, teachers (big people).
  • STAGE 1 - Obedience and Punishment orientation

    stage 1 energes in children around the ages of 2-3 or 5-6 years of age. In this stage actions are evaluated in terms of possible punishment, not goodness or badness. Children have an egocentric point of view ( centered on one's self). In this stage the obedience to power is emphasised and whether behaviour is 'right/wrong' depends on the concequences of their actions. The worser punishment is seen to come from the 'more bad' actions.
  • Moral Dilemmas in STAGE 1

    An example of a moral dilemma in this stage could be:
    "A child has foun a lost toy on the ground in his school yard. Do you think that he should keep it, or give it in to his teacher."
    A child in this stage of moral development would think that he should give it in to avoid punishment. Children think in this way because they have have fear of punishment from authoritarian figures.
  • STAGE 2 - Individual instrumental purpose and exchange

    This stage emerges around the ages of 5-7/9 years of age.
    Proper actions are determined by one's own needs , concerns for others are largely the matter of 'You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'. Not of loyalty gratitude or justice. Children can seperate their own interests and point of view from the interest and point of view of others and authority. Therefore they are not as egocentric in this stage as the previous stage. Children start thinking that if they do something right...
  • Moral dilemmas- STAGE 2

    An example of a moral Dillema in stage two is:
    "A boy is sitting a test at school. He Cheated during this test by looking at his friends answers. Is this acceptable behaviour?"
    A individual iin this stage of development would believe that this is an acceptable behaviour because there may be a reward for a high mark on the test.
  • stage 2 CONTINUED

    ...they will be rewarded. Moral thinking is based on the reward and self interest.
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    Conventional Level

    This level of moral development emerges through the years of 7-15. In this level, individuals become more considerate of the thoughts and feelings of others. Their motivation is to gain approval.
  • STAGE 3 - Good boy/nice girl Orientation.

    This stage emerges throught the years 7-12. Good behaviour is that which pleases others in the immediate group or which brings approval to the emphasis on 'being nice'. Conformity emerges to gain social acceptance, avoid disapproval and feeling guilty amongst a group. Individuals are better at 'putting themselves in other peoples shoes'. They become less egocentric and more aware of shared feelings agreements and expectations....
  • Moral Dilemmas-STAGE 3

    An example of a moral Dillema in this stage of development could be:
    "A girl is sitting a test at school and decides to allow her classmate to read off her paper". Is this an acceptable behaviour?
    An individual in this stage of development would let their friend cheat in order to save them from any possivble punishment from getting a bad score.
  • STAGE 3 continued

    ... because behaviour is very dependent on others, they have diffiuculties saying 'NO' or resisting peer pressure. This stage eventually leads to internal awareness of rules and behaviour; the development of respect.
  • STAGE 4 - Social system and conscience maintenance

    This stage emerges throught the years 10 - 15. The emphasis on upholding law, order and authority, doing one's duty and following social rules is of utmost importance at this stage. The individual feels mopre like it is their duty to uphold the rules of the social system in which they live in to maintain the welfare of the whole society of group. The person's conscience int his stage looks at a societal point of view.
  • Moral dilemmas - Stage 4

    An example of a moral dilemma in stage 4 is:
    "A girl is walking to school and finds $200 on the ground, should she pick it up and keep it or hand it into the police?"
    And indivvidual in this stage of development would hand int into the police , because they look for what is right fot rthe society as a whole and accept rules without question.
  • kohlberg heinz cont 3

    STAGE 6: " He should steal the drug then inform authority that he has doen so, he will have tio face a penalty but he has saved a human life."
  • STAGE 5 Prior rights and social contract or utility

    This stage emerges at app[roximately the age of 16 onwards. Support of laws and rules is based on rational analysis and mutual agreement; rules are recognized as open to question, but are upheld by for the good of the community and the name of democratic values. Social contract or utility is upheld and emotional bonds and relationships are put aside,
  • Moral dilemmas- Stage 5

    An example of a moral dilemma in stage 5 is:
    "a group of school kids borrow a Documentary froma DVD store, they create a pirated copy of this to share with their peers in order for them to study and therefore get high marks at school. Is this acceptable?"
    An indivual in this stage of development would think this is acceptable asd they do recognise that they have to abide by rules but are open to questions upheld for the good of the community.
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    Postconventional Level

    This level of moral development emerges at the ages of sixteen onwards. In this stage true morality and decision to do what is morally right is guided by the conscience. Kohlberg said that only 20% of adults reach this level of Moral Development
  • STAGE 6 - Universal-Ethical principles

    This stage is emrged in individuals over the ages of 16, however not everybody reaches this stage. Highly individualistic moral beliefs, behaviour is directed by self chosen ethical principles that rtend to be general, comprehensive or universal. High value is placed on justice, dignity and equality. Universal principles are rules applied all around the world. The nature of morality rests on respect for others and the laws and rules are their to guide people, not the only way to make decisions.
  • Moral dilemma- stage 6

    An examplpe of a mopral dilemma in stage 6:
    "A cancer patient has had enough from suffering from years of pain, they plead to be euthanised, should the doctor allow this to happen?"
    An individual in this stage of development believe that although they are sufering they should not be given euthanasia as universal principles should be applied for everyone.
  • CRITICISMS of Kohlberg's theory

    A major criticism of Kohlberg's theory is that it does not aalways accuratley describe the moral development of females. Therefore other psychologists suggest that females use different reasoning then males when confronted with moral issues. Anther criticism of Kohlberg's theory was the data collection techniques by him in the experiment. His research relied heavily on childrens language and communication skills.
  • criticisms continued

    Because young children may not understand the moral dilemmas told, they may not be able to express what they are thinking. And also what people say they do not always do.