Kohlberg's Moral Development Lawrence Kohlberg grew up in Bronxville, New York and attended handover Academy in Massachusetts. This is an academically demanding private high school. He did not go straight to college but instead went to help the Israeli cause, serving as the second engineer on an old freighter carrying European refugees through British blockades to Israel. After this Kohlberg enrolled at the University of Chicago where he scored so high on admission test that he only had to take a limited number of courses to earn his bachelor's degree. This he did in one year. He stayed on at Chicago for graduate work in psychology, at first thinking he would become a clinical psychologist.
In this study he soon became interested in Pager and begins interviewing children and adolescents on moral issues. The result was his doctoral dissertation, the first rendition of his new stage theory. Kohlberg taught at the University of Chicago from 1963 to 1968 and at the Harvard University from 1968 until his death in 1987. Many of our inner standards take the form of judgments as to what is right and what is wrong.
They constitute the moral and ethical principles by which we guide our conduct. The manner in which moral judgments develop has been studied extensively by Kohlberg, through the questioning of boys seven years old and up. Kohlberg presented his subjects with a number of hypothetical situations involving moral question like the following. If a man's wife is dying for lack of an expensive drug that he cannot afford, should he steal the drug? If a patient who is fatally ill and in great pain begs for a mercy killing, should the physician agree?
By analyzing the answers and particularly the reasoning by which his subjects reached their answers. Kohlberg determined that moral judgments develop through a series of six stages. The Children in the two stages of what he calls the pre conventional level base their ideas of right and wrong largely on their own rewards. Later, in the two stages of what he call the conventional level, they become concerned about the approval of other people, and finally, in the two stages of the post conventional level, they become concerned with abstract moral values and the dictates of their own conscience. Kohlberg six stages of moral development from this study. Level 1 is Re conventional Morality.
Stage 1 is Obedience and Punishment Orientation. The child powerful authorities hand down a fixed set of rules, which he or she must unquestioningly obey. Stage 2 is Individualism and Exchange. 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 is Conventional Morality.
Stage 3 is Good Interpersonal Relationships. At this stage children who are by now usually entering their teens see morality as more than simple deals. They believe that people should live up to the expectations of the family and community and behave in good way. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feeling such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for others. Stage 4 is maintaining the Social Order. This stage works best in two-person relationships with family members or close friends, where one can make a real effort to get to know the other's feelings and needs and try to help.
At this stage, in contrast, the respondent becomes more broadly concerned with society as a whole. Level 3 is Post conventional Morality. Stage 5 is Social Contract and Individual Rights. At this stage people start to ask what makes a good society. They begin to think about in a b very theoretical way, stepping back from their own society and considering the rights and values that a society ought to uphold. They then evaluate existing societies in terms in terms of these prior considerations.
State 6 is Universal Principles. This stage has the same ideas as stage 5 but stage 6 go a step forward, which defines the principles by which we achieve justice. The Childs reasons for being good progress from sheer self-interest to a concern of the approval of others and finally to a concern for the approval of his own conscience. Apparently the stage by stage development takes place in other societies besides our own. Kohlberg also found a similar pattern among children in Mexico and Taiwan. At stage 1 children think of what is right as what authority says is right.
Doing the right thing is obeying authority and avoiding punishment. At stage 2 children are no longer so impressed by any single authority they see that there are different sides to any issue. Since everything is relative one is free to pursue one's own interests although it is often useful to make deals and exchange favors with others. At stage 3 and 4 young people think as members of the conventional society with its values, norms, and expectations. At stage 3 vs. they emphasize being a good person which basically means having helpful motives toward people close to one. At stage 4 the concern shifts toward obeying laws to maintain society as a whole.
At stages 5 and 6 people are less concerned with maintaining society for its own sake, and more concerned with the principles and values that make for a good society. At stage 5 they emphasize basic rights and the democratic processes that give everyone say and at stage 6 they define the principles by which agreements will be most just. In the early level of development, children strive to maximize pleasure and avoid punishment. Children at this level consider the needs of others only to the extent that meeting those needs will help the child fulfill his or her own needs. During the next period, which is characterized by conformity to social rules, the child demonstrates respect for and duty to authority. The child also seeks to avoid disapproval from that authority.
As the child matures, his or her moral judgment is motivated by respect for legally determined rules and an understanding that these rules exist to benefit all. Eventually, universal principles are internalized. These principles, such as liberty and justice, may even transcend aspects of the existing legal system. Kohlberg also sometimes spoke of change occurring through role-taking opportunities to consider others viewpoints. As children interact with others they learn how viewpoints differ and how to coordinate them in cooperative activities.
As they discuss their problems and work out their difference the develop their conceptions of what is fair and just. Whatever the interactions are specifically like they work best, Kohlberg said when they are open and democratic. The less children feel pressured simply to conform to authority the freer they are to settle their own difference and formulate their own ideas. Kohlberg set his study up on the basic of Piaget stage concept. These stages are qualitatively different ways of thinking, structured wholes, progress in an invariant sequence, and are cross-cultural universals. Kohlberg took these criteria very seriously, trying to show how his stages meet them all.
The first concept is Qualitative differences. In stage 1 responses which focus on obedience to authority, sound very different from stage 2 which argue that each person is free to behave as he or she wishes. The second concept is Structured Wholes. By this Kohlberg means that the stages are not just isolated responses but general patterns of thought that will consistently show up across many different kinds of issues. The third concept is Invariant Sequence. Kohlberg believed that his stages unfolded in an invariant sequence.
Children go form stage 1 to stage 2 and so on with out skipping a stage. Concept four is Hierarchic Integration. When Kohlberg said that his stages were hierarchically integrated, he meant that people do not lose the insights gained at earlier stages but integrate them into new, broader framework. Other studies confirm that moral development is sequential, moving from external to internal control. In other words, while young children behave in order to avoid punishment or receive approval from others, adults develop internal codes and regulate their own behavior even in the absence of external enforcement. However, criminologists have not found truly strong indications of the effect of moral development on criminal activity.
Sociologists who compared the patterns of moral development between delinquents and no delinquents found some differences between the groups, but these differences were not conclusive...