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. Pre-conventional[ edit ] The pre-conventional level of moral reasoning is especially common in children, although adults can also exhibit this level of reasoning.
Saul McLeodupdated Lawrence Kohlberg agreed with Piaget's theory of moral development in principle but wanted to develop his ideas further.
In each case, he presented a choice to be considered, for example, between the rights of some authority and the needs of some deserving individual who is being unfairly treated. Doctors said a new drug might save her. The drug had been discovered by a local chemist, and the Heinz tried desperately to buy some, but the chemist was charging ten times the money it cost to make the drug, and this was much more than the Heinz could afford.
Heinz could only raise half the money, even after help from family and friends. He explained to the chemist that his wife was dying and asked if he could have the drug cheaper or pay the rest of the money later. The chemist refused, saying that he had discovered the drug and was going to make money from it.
Kohlberg asked a series of questions such as: Should Heinz have stolen the drug?
Would it change anything if Heinz did not love his wife? What if the person dying was a stranger, would it make any difference? Should the police arrest the chemist for murder if the woman died? By studying the answers from children of different ages to these questions, Kohlberg hoped to discover how moral reasoning changed as people grew older.
The sample comprised 72 Chicago boys aged 10—16 years, 58 of whom were followed up at three-yearly intervals for 20 years Kohlberg, Each boy was given a 2-hour interview based on the ten dilemmas. What Kohlberg was mainly interested in was not whether the boys judged the action right or wrong, but the reasons given for the decision.
He found that these reasons tended to change as the children got older. He identified three distinct levels of moral reasoning each with two sub-stages. People can only pass through these levels in the order listed. Each new stage replaces the reasoning typical of the earlier stage.
Not everyone achieves all the stages. Instead, our moral code is shaped by the standards of adults and the consequences of following or breaking their rules.
Authority is outside the individual and reasoning is based on the physical consequences of actions. Obedience and Punishment Orientation.
If a person is punished, they must have done wrong. At this stage, children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities. Different individuals have different viewpoints. Level 2 - Conventional morality At the conventional level most adolescents and adultswe begin to internalize the moral standards of valued adult role models.
Authority is internalized but not questioned, and reasoning is based on the norms of the group to which the person belongs. Therefore, answers relate to the approval of others.
Maintaining the Social Order. Level 3 - Post-conventional morality Individual judgment is based on self-chosen principles, and moral reasoning is based on individual rights and justice. According to Kohlberg this level of moral reasoning is as far as most people get.
That is to say, most people take their moral views from those around them and only a minority think through ethical principles for themselves. Social Contract and Individual Rights. The issues are not always clear-cut.
People at this stage have developed their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law.
The principles apply to everyone. The person will be prepared to act to defend these principles even if it means going against the rest of society in the process and having to pay the consequences of disapproval and or imprisonment.Kohlberg's body of work on the stages of moral development has been utilized by others working in the field.
One example is the Defining Issues Test (DIT) created in by James Rest,  originally as a pencil-and-paper alternative to the Moral Judgement Interview. . Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development Moral Development: Forming a Sense of Rights and Responsibilities Morality is a system of beliefs about what is right and .
Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development constitute an adaptation of a psychological theory originally conceived by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. Kohlberg began work on this topic while a psychology graduate student at the University of Chicago.
Jun 25, · A 6th grade I-search project I did on Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Enjoy¡. The Theory of Moral Development formulated by Lawrence Kohlberg states that our judgments toward the rightness or wrongness of an action may be explained by .
Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, a comprehensive stage theory of moral development based on Jean Piaget’s theory of moral judgment for children () and developed by Lawrence Kohlberg in Cognitive in nature, Kohlberg’s theory focuses on the thinking process that occurs when one decides whether a behaviour is right or wrong.