Friday, July 23, 2010

Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

          Lawrence Kohlberg identified that there are three levels, with 2 stages each, of moral development. If Piaget used "Piagetian tasks", Kohlberg used "moral dilemmas" in order to interpret the moral reasoning of individuals. The most famous is the "Heinz Steals the Drug". To know the story of Heinz, just refer to wikipedia.hehehe...
This is Lawrence Kohlberg...He reminds me of a hollywood star or a director...i dont know...

Level I: PreConventional. Individuals judge the morality of an action based on its direct consequence.

Stage 1: Punishment/Obedience Orientation
          In this stage, individuals tend to focus on the direct consequence of an action. The consequence of an action tells what right or wrong is. When an action is punished, then that action is wrong, and if it is rewarded, that action is right.
Stage 2: Mutual Benefit
          Individuals have "what's in it for me?" thinking. Individuals act based on the self advantage or benefit that one may acquire doing the action.

Level II: Conventional. Individuals judge the morality of an action by the "conventions" or norms, views and expectations of the society.

Stage 3: Social Approval Orientation
          This stage is commonly called Good boy/Good girl orientation. Individuals act based on the approval or disapproval from other people, and because of their concern of how other people might see, think or say about them.
Stage 4: Law and Order
          Individuals act in order to maintain the law like following the rules, doing one's duty and respecting the authority. This is done for the prevalence of order and functioning of the society.

Level III: Post Conventional. Moral reasoning precedes the law or the convention of the society rather on the principles behind the law. Individuals may disobey rules if inconsistent with their own principle.

Stage 5: Social Contract
          Each person holds different opinions, rights and values and should be mutually respected. Laws that are wrong can be changed to meet the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle
         Moral reasoning is deeply internalized and is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. They act because it is right, and not because it is instrumental, expected or legal. This drives them to possess moral responsibility for societal changes.

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