The Theory Of Moral Development

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The theory on Moral Development is credited to none other than Lawrence Kohlberg. Kohlberg was a twentieth century psychologist dedicated his studies to research in moral development and reasoning, especially on young people (Absolute Astronomy, pg. 38). His theory was highly influenced by well-known swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget’s, stages of cognitive development (Absolute Astronomy, pg. 38). Jean Piaget’s theory contained four stages of cognitive development (Hart). Kohlberg’s theory is actually six stages and could be considered an expansion of these Piaget’s four stages (Absolute Astronomy, pg. 38.) He placed people in these stages based on how they react to moral dilemmas (Absolute Astronomy, pg. 38). Kohlberg’s theory was less…show more content…
39). Piaget’s theory only extended through “adulthood,” suggesting that development and growth ends at some point (Hart). Kohlberg’s stages suggest that development continues on all throughout an individual’s life (Absolute Astronomy, pg 39). One Kohlberg’s most important ideas is that correct moral reasoning will lead to ethical behavior (Absolute Astronomy, pg. 39). For this reason, Kohlberg focused his studies on why people make certain decisions rather than the actual decisions (Hart). By giving people dilemmas and having them determine what decision they would make in that dilemma and why they would make that decision, allowed him to place people into one of his six stages of development (Absolute Astronomy, pg. 39). As just mentioned, Kohlberg’s theory contains six stages of development (Hart). More specifically, there are three levels that contain six stages altogether (Hart). Level one is known as Pre-Conventional (Hart). Level two is Conventional, and level three is Post-Conventional (Hart). There are two stages in each level (Hart). Stage one and two are in the Pre-Conventional level (Hart). Stage one is all about “obedience and punishment orientation” (Hart). An individual in stage one mainly focuses on how they can avoid punishment (Hart). For example, a child may make the decision not to hit another child just so they won’t have to sit in timeout
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