The Moral Development Stages And How It Affects Our Morality

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Moral Development Growing up is a difficult time in a child’s life. Each day, they are presented with challenges such as how to be friends with the cool kids, how to be successful in school, and how to deal with their ever-changing body. The morals we have as a child are not forged in steel, rather they can change as we get older and experience life. As one ages, people change their beliefs, behaviors, and reasoning. Moral development is much like a child’s body in that it proceeds in a series of stages (Williams and Bruce (2012). This short essay will discuss how the moral development stages and how it affects our morality as we get older.
Development Stages Kohlberg argued that children develop their morals and thinking in different
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During stage 3, the child beings to realize what’s right and wrong is in the interest of society rather than their own self-interest. The child will begin looking for approval from their peers and others. Stage 4 begins the time when the child looks beyond the rules of their parents and toward the laws, codes, and commandments (Williams & Bruce, 2012). The final level is known as postconventional morality and occurs after age 13 or young adulthood or possibly never (Mahoney, 2006). This level is characterized by a concern for the common good of all and the welfare of others. The two stages of postconventional morality are: stage 5: Social Contract/Utility/Rights and stage 6: Universal Ethical Principles. If one reaches stage 5, they will have solid morals and values based on freedom, citizenship, and autonomy. Those who make it to stage 6 will show advanced moral development and the highest level of respect for moral reasoning. If reached, this occurs during midlife. Kohlberg’s research on moral development suggested that morality and moral reasoning progresses through a series of six stages in a fixed order, without skipping a stage. If this is true, the types of moral beliefs, motivations, choices, and actions of everyone will be characteristically different in relation to the stage of cognitive development or intellectual maturity

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