Lawrence Kohlberg's Theory And Moral Development

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Lawrence Kohlberg Research Paper Lawrence Kohlberg is a psychologist that explored how an individual develops moral reasoning. Through his career he started as a developmental psychologist and then moved to moral education, where he focused more on ethics, linguistics, anthropology, and cognitive psychology. His well-known contribution to psychology is his stages of moral development, where he formulated his own theory through Piaget’s previous work. The theory was to explain the basic questions and issues that both education and psychology were asking. Kohlberg’s six stages set the foundation of moral development. Through his theory it consisted of three levels and in each level it has two stages. He based the theory upon “The Heinz Dilemma”, …show more content…
The six stages emphasize an individual’s moral reasoning. The first level is the Pre-conventional morality, which expresses the moral value and how it resides in one’s own needs and wants. The first stage refers to obedience vs. punishment expressing a child from birth to nine years and their reasoning based on physical consequence. Children would see rules as fixed and absolute, meaning that they obey rules in order to avoid punishment, not because they understand it’s wrong. The need to satisfy own desire influences a person’s moral decision is the second stage, which is self-interest. The second level is Conventional morality and it usually ranges from ages nine to their puberty. This level focuses more on the right or wrong, and the need to please others. The third stage is the “Good child” orientation and that is where an individual tries to gain acceptance and avoid disproval. Stage four is the law and order orientation, meaning that they follow rules and like in the second stage they follow to avoid penalties, not really thinking too much of why. The last level is the pre-conventional morality, which is from puberty to death, and it clarifies the shared standards, duties, and rights. The fifth stage Promotes the welfare of one’s society also known as social contract orientation, while the sixth stage, ethical principle orientation, describes that …show more content…
Researchers have realized that the most common stages include the earlier stages, but the higher stages weren’t found in many of the cultures, including the United States. Many conclude that reaching the higher levels are based on an individual’s formal education; therefore it is not that common for each individual to have reached the higher stages. Most people usually just stop after the fourth stage and they usually don’t reach anything higher. A major criticism that comes from one of his colleague, Carol Gilligan, argues Kohlberg’s male

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