If children engage in enough independent thinking, Kohlberg suggests, they will eventually begin to formulate conceptions of rights, values, and principles by which they evaluate existing social arrangements. Similarly, the social perspective level involves the understanding of the social universe, differing from the view of persons in that it involves an appreciation of social norms. Many believe that this theory doesn't support the beliefs and cultural values that other societies might hold high in regard. Essays on Moral Development, Vol. He was born into a wealthy family and enjoyed all of the luxuries that the rich lifestyle had to offer including the finest college prep schools.
Four recent longitudinal studies have obtained similar results although, two have found somewhat more regression up to 15 percent see Colby et al. They may see rules as the unchangeable authority because disobeying them will lead to punishment. Decisions are not reached in a conditional way but rather in an absolute way, as in the. Kohlberg became interested in Jean Piaget's theories of moral development in children and adolescents while studying for his doctorate degree. The Stage Concept Piaget, you will recall, proposed that true mental stages meet several criteria.
He saw this as one of the ways in which moral development can be promoted through formal education. Post-Conventional Morality Stage 5 Social Contract Orientation At this stage, people understand that there are differing opinions out there on what is right and wrong and that laws are really just a social contract based on majority decision and inevitable compromise. Social and Personality Development 5th ed. Presumably, if their group valued property over life, they would too. In stage 5, people begin to value the will of the majority, as well as the well-being of society. At this stage, people act according to their internalized standards of morality.
Authority and social-order maintaining orientation Law and order morality Level 3 Post-Conventional 5. Universal ethical principles Principled conscience The understanding gained in each stage is retained in later stages, but may be regarded by those in later stages as simplistic, lacking in sufficient attention to detail. Blatt presented moral dilemmas which engaged the classes in a good deal of heated debate. Anyone who has contemplated something very life changing, like a death in the family, then experienced it, understands how different it is to actually be faced with the dilemma. Such perspectives should be mutually respected as unique to each person or community. A distinction between right and wrong in this stage is created by culpability of an action.
If a boy had something stolen, it was too bad for him. They assume that there is only one right view, that of authorities. Self-absorbed while assuming that they're generous. Blatt found that over half the students moved up one full stage after the 12 weeks. Thus, the theoretical emphasis is on how one decides to respond to a moral dilemma, not what one decides or what one actually does.
They begin to learn that others will treat them well if they in turn treat others well. People choose the ethical principles they want to follow, and if they violate those principles, they feel guilty. Kohlberg believes that moral development is a process which occurs throughout the lifespan and does not end at any given time. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for others. This can give rise to an inference that even innocent victims are guilty in proportion to their suffering. Stages 5 and 6, finally, take a more idealized look at how people might coordinate their interests.
What would happen if we all started breaking the laws whenever we felt we had a good reason? Child psychology : a contemporary viewpoint 3rd Canadian ed. It may not elicit the pure data that one 1589 Words 7 Pages of the development of moral reasoning. Criticism of Kohlberg Most people never reach the post-conventional level of morality, raising an immediate question as to whether these stages can properly be termed levels of development at all. At this stage, it is a good idea to introduce classroom activities that encourage cooperation between students. Pre-conventional Level People first pass through two stages known collectively as the pre-conventional level. It may be that many psychologists react to Kohlberg in a similar way, and that this reaction underlies many of the debates over the scientific merits of his research.
For example, one culture might discourage physical fighting, while another encourages it more. Children accept and believe the rules of authority figures, such as parents and teachers. The Adolescent as a Philosopher: The Discovery of the Self in a Postconventional World. Martin Luther King, for example, argued that laws are only valid insofar as they are grounded in justice, and that a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. For women, Gilligan says, morality centers not on rights and rules but on interpersonal relationships and the ethics of compassion and care. Stage 6 is characterized by abstract reasoning and universality of ethical principles.
Kohlberg chose the latter, postulating the existence of sub-stages in which the emerging stage has not yet been fully integrated into the personality. He identified three distinct levels of moral reasoning each with two sub-stages. One wonders how well Kohlberg's stages apply to the great Eastern philosophies. Carol Gilligan Kohlberg's theories are not without their detractors. A child with pre-conventional morality has not yet adopted or internalized society's conventions regarding what is right or wrong but instead focuses largely on external consequences that certain actions may bring. Is justice the most fundamental moral principle? Another criticism is that Kohlberg's theory is sex-biased, a view that has been thoughtfully expressed by one of Kohlberg's associates and co-authors, Carol Gilligan 1982. An example of obedience and punishment driven morality would be a child refusing to do something because it is wrong and that the consequences could result in punishment.
For example, children seem to advance to stage 2, overcoming their egocentrism in the moral sphere, only after they have made equivalent progress in their logical and social thought. The fact that her life is in danger transcends every other standard you might use to judge his action. That is, socializing agents e. Stage 5 emphasizes democratic processes, and stage 6 considers how all parties take one another's perspectives according to the principles of justice. Problems with Kohlberg's Theory 1.