Kohlberg developed his six-stage theory on moral development while working on his doctorate degree. His theory was inspired by the research of Jean Piaget and has changed the way sociologists and psychologists look at moral development.
Significant Others, "Tyranny of the They" They say…. Individual acts to gain approval of others. Good behavior is that which pleases or helps others within the group. Everybody is doing it. Self sacrifice to group demands is expected. Values based in conformity, loyalty to group. Retribution, however, at this stage is collective.
Forgiveness is preferable to revenge. Punishment is mainly for deterrence. Failure to punish is "unfair. The Good Citizen Respect for fixed rules, laws and properly constituted authority.
Defense of the given social and institutional order for its own sake. Responsibility toward the welfare of others in the society. Justice demands that the wrongdoer be punished, that he "pay his debt to society," and that law abiders be rewarded. Right behavior consists of maintaining the social order for its own sake.
Self-sacrifice to larger social order is expected. Authority figures are seldom questioned. For most adults, this is the highest stage they will attain. What if everyone did that?
The Cynic Between the conventional stages and the post-conventional Levels 5 and 6, there is a transitional stage. Some college-age students who come to see conventional morality as socially constructed, thus, relative and arbitrary, but have not yet discovered universal ethical principles, may drop into a hedonistic ethic of "do your own thing.
Disrespect for conventional morality was especially infuriating to the Stage 4 mentality, and indeed was calculated to be so. Kohlberg found that some people get "stuck" in this in-between stage marked by egoism and skepticism, never able to completely leave behind conventional reasoning even after recognizing its inadequacies.
Such people are often marked by uncritical cynicism "All politicians are crooks…nothing really matters anyway"disillusionment and alienation. Why should I believe anything?
Individuals have natural or inalienable rights and liberties that are prior to society and must be protected by society. Retributive justice is repudiated as counterproductive, violative of notions of human rights.
Justice distributed proportionate to circumstances and need. Retributive punishment is neither rational nor just, because it does not promote the rights and welfare of the individual and inflicts further violence upon society.
Only legal sanctions that fulfill that purpose are imposed-- protection of future victims, deterrence, and rehabilitation.
Individual acts out of mutual obligation and a sense of public good. Right action tends to be defined in terms of general individual rights, and in terms of standards that have been critically examined and agreed upon by the whole society--e.
Conventional authorities are increasingly rejected in favor of critical reasoning. Laws are challenged by questions of justice. What is the just thing to do given all the circumstances?
What will bring the most good to the largest number of people?Lawrence Kohlberg expanded on the earlier work of cognitive theorist Jean Piaget to explain the moral development of children, which he believed follows a series of stages.
Kohlberg defined three levels of moral development: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. Note that Kohlberg believed, as did Piaget, that most moral development occurs through social interaction.
The discussion approach is based on the insight that individuals develop as a result of cognitive conflicts at their current stage. Stages of Moral Development According to Kohlberg Stages of Moral Development by Lawrence Kohlberg () I.
Pre-conventional Level At this level, the child is responsive to cultural rules and labels of good and bad, right or wrong, but he interprets the labels in. Lawrence Kohlberg: Lawrence Kohlberg, American psychologist and educator known for his theory of moral development.
Kohlberg was the youngest of four children of Alfred Kohlberg, a successful silk merchant of Jewish ancestry, and Charlotte Albrecht Kohlberg, a Protestant and a skilled amateur chemist. When the couple. 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 .
Although Kohlberg's stages of moral development aren't direct parallels of Piaget's stages of cognitive development, Kohlberg was inspired by Piaget's work.