Presentation on theme: "The Stages of Moral Development"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Stages of Moral Development Lawrence KohlbergThe Stages of Moral DevelopmentHello, my name is Erin Moore. My presentation today will be on Lawrence Kohlberg. Kohlberg is best known for his research on the stages of moral development. I have created this presentation in preparation for my Child Growth and Development study.By: Clare Elfelt and Erin Moore
2 Background Information Lawrence Kohlberg was born in 1927Received Bachelor’s Degree and PhD in PsychologyTaught at Yale, the University of Chicago, and HarvardExpanded on Piaget’s theories of Cognitive DevelopmentMade significant discoveries within the field of Moral DevelopmentKohlberg died in 1971Lawrence Kohlberg was born in 1927 and died in 1971 at only 44 years of age. Kohlberg was an informal man who frequently dressed in flannel shirts and had a passion for philosophy. He could have easily have been a student at UD. Kohlberg received his PhD in psychology from the University of Chicago and went on to teach at many prestigious institutions. As an instructor Kohlberg began his research on moral development, a topic which interested him until his death.
3 Definition of TermsMoral Reasoning – the process of determining right or wrong in a given situationMoral Dilemma - fictional stories that describe situations in which a person has to make a moral decisionValues – the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrongChoice – An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities
4 The Cognitive-Developmental Theory of Moralization Pre-Conventional MoralityStage 1: Obedience OrientationStage 2: Individualism OrientationConventional MoralityStage 3: Interpersonal OrientationStage 4: Social Order OrientationPost-Conventional MoralityStage 5: Social Contract OrientationStage 6: Universal Ethics OrientationKohlberg’s research on moral development lead him to believe in the existence of six distinct stages within moral development. He divided the six stages into three broader categories: pre-conventional morality, conventional morality, and post-conventional morality. Kohlberg believed that stages of moral development are qualitatively different meaning each stage exhibits a different ways of thinking. Kohlberg maintained that “each new stage is more cognitively adequate than the prior stage.” It was his belief that the stages unfold in an invariant sequence and are culturally universal.
5 Stage 1: ObedienceThe child assumes that the rules of the authority figure must be unquestionedView morality as external to themselvesExample of reasoning: “It’s bad to steal”In Stage 1, children base their decisions on at set of rules provided by an authority figure, in most cases their parents. At this stage a typical response is simple and straightforward. A child might say “mom says it’s bad to steal” and leave it at that.
6 Stage 2: Individualism Act according to ones own self-interest Speak as isolated individuals instead of reasoning members of societyExample of reasoning: “Stealing is okay if you need something”In Stage 2, people exhibit egotistical behavior and often reason according to their own interests. People at age two can rationalize stealing as long as the action was taken in order to benefit them directly.
7 Stage 3: Interpersonal Best observed in two-person relationships Emphasis on living up to social expectationsExample of reasoning: “He was a good man because he didn’t steal”In Stage 3, people are concerned with social expectations and close relationships. A person at stage 3 might claim that bad people steal and good people do not. In their understanding, everyone must behave in “good” ways.
8 Stage 4: Social OrderMake observations in relation to society as a wholeFocus on maintaining law and orderExample of reasoning: “It’s against the law to steal”In Stage 4, people are concerned with society as a whole. People must base their decisions on whether or not their actions will be against the law. This form of rationale is different from that seen in Stage 1 because the it is concerned with the law of society rather than parental law.
9 Stage 5: Social Contract Understand that there are differing of opinion of what is right and wrongNeed for rights and democracyExample of reasoning: “It is legally wrong to steal but it in this case it is morally right”In Stage 5, it is understood that there are differing opinions on the nature of right and wrong behavior. People typically give a two part answer by examining both the moral and legal implications of a given action. Stealing may be morally acceptable even though the action is legally wrong.
10 Stage 6: Universal Ethics Ability to engage in abstract reasoningProtection of individual rights and disputes settled through the democratic processKohlberg believed this stage to be theoretical in natureIn Stage 6, there is a focus on universal ethics. Stage 6 thought is characterized by the ability to step into the shoes of another and view a situation from their perspective. You will notice that I did not provide an example of reasoning for Stage 6 moral development, this is because Kohlberg did not believe anyone consistently operated at this stage and therefore labeled it theoretical in nature.Now that we’ve taken a look at each of the six stages of moral development, let’s review their order. (cue SmartBoard activity)
11 Our Research Questions Are Catholic students attending a Catholic school more likely to rely on traditional church teachings when responding to a moral dilemma that involves a specifically Catholic teaching than when responding to a moral dilemma that involves a generic/universal moral question?When evaluated using The Measurement of Moral Judgment: Volume 2, Standard Issue Scoring Manual by Colby and Kohlberg, will Catholic student responses to Catholic moral dilemmas fall into the same, higher, or lower stages of moral development as compared to the responses of the non-Catholic students?Are there patterns of difference among boys and girls with respect to their stages of moral reasoning relevant to gender or religion?In the Child Growth and Development course we are required to conduct a research study based on our selected theorist. For my research study, I have chosen to examine whether the introduction of a specifically Catholic moral dilemma can cause a change in the level of moral thought exhibited in the respondent. I will be conducting my research study with the help of seventh and eighth grade students at Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic School.
12 Our HypothesesCatholic students attending a Catholic school will be more likely to rely on traditional church teachings when responding to a moral dilemma that involves a specifically Catholic teaching than when responding to a moral dilemma that involves a generic/universal moral question.When evaluated using The Measurement of Moral Judgment: Volume 2, Standard Issue Scoring Manual by Colby and Kohlberg, Catholic students responses to Catholic moral dilemmas will fall into higher stages of moral development as compared to the responses of the non-Catholic students.There will not be patterns of difference among boys and girls with respect to their stages of moral reasoning relevant to gender or religion.My hypothesis is that Catholic students will in fact rely on church teachings when responding to a Catholic moral dilemma.
13 Data Collection Instrument Part 1Are you Catholic? Circle yes or no.Yes or NoHow old are you? __________What is your gender? Circle your answer.Male or FemalePart 2Joe is a 14-year old boy who wanted to go to camp very much. His father promised him he could go if he saved up the money for it himself. So Joe worked hard at his paper route and saved up the $100 it cost to go to camp and a little more besides. But just before camp was going to start, his father changed his mind. Some of his friends decided to go on a special fishing trip, and Joe’s father was short of the money it would cost. So he told Joe to give him the money he had saved from the paper route. Joe didn’t want to give up going to camp, so he thought about refusing to give his father the money.Should Joe refuse to give his father the money? Why or why not? Use the space below to write your answer.Part 3Theresa is a really talented soccer player. All season, Theresa has worked really hard to make sure that her middle school soccer team made it to the finals. The hard work paid off and Theresa’s team won every single game. The finals schedule was posted online and Theresa saw that the championship game was scheduled for a Sunday. There was going to be a scout at that Sunday’s game and Theresa had a chance to get a soccer scholarship to the best high school in her town. The Catechism tells us “The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason” (2181, Catechism of the Catholic Church). Theresa thinks her soccer championship is a serious reason.Should Theresa miss mass to play in championship game? Why or why not? Use the space below to write your answer.
14 Moral Development Rubric Kohlberg’s Definition:Expected Statements in Response to the Dilemma:Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment OrientationThe child assumes that the rules of the authority figure must be unquestionedView morality as external to themselvesAvoidance of punishment“My dad/mom told me not to…”“You’ll get punished”/ “You won’t get punished”“I don’t want to get in trouble”Stage 2: Individualism and ExchangeAct according to ones own self-interestSpeak as isolated individuals instead of reasoning members of societyNotion of fair exchange“They may have thought it was the right/wrong thing to do”“It was unfair”/ “The fair way would have been…”Stage 3: Interpersonal Relationships“Good Boy/Nice Girl” OrientationBest observed in two-person relationshipsEmphasis on living up to social expectations“ This person had the right idea”“His intentions were good, but…”This person was “greedy, selfish” or “caring and loving”Stage 4: Maintaining a Social OrderMake observations in relation to society as a wholeFocus on maintaining law and order“Stealing or breaking the law is never right, even though it is understandable why the person did it”“What would happen if we all did that”Stage 5: Social Contract and Individual RightsStress on basic rights and democratic procedures to change unfair lawsUnderstanding of differences in opinion regarding right and wrong“Laws are social contracts that everyone agrees to uphold”“It is legally wrong but morally right”“Her reason is more important than his”Stage 6: Universal PrinciplesAbility to engage in abstract reasoningProtection of individual rights and disputes settled through the democratic processKohlberg considered Stage 6 to be theoretical in nature, therefore we did not consider this possibility in our research study
18 Interesting Responses “No she should go to mass because it’s one of the commandments and you need to abide by them.” – Child A“She should miss mass because going to the championship is a once in a lifetime opportunity and her team is counting on her. You can go to mass every Sunday and it is okay to skip at least one mass.” - Child D“She shouldn’t miss her game because she worked really hard. There are a lot of masses on Sunday and she could just go to a later mass.” –Child E
19 Conclusion Only two students exhibited a change in moral reasoning The majority of students exhibited Stage 2 reasoning in both dilemmasOne of our hypotheses was correct:The girl participant did not exhibit different reasoning than the male participantsTwo of our hypotheses were incorrect:Catholic students on the whole did not exhibit a change in moral reasoningCatholic students did not exhibit higher reasoning than Non-Catholic students on the Catholic Dilemma
20 Limitations Limited amount of survey subjects There was only one female participant in the studyThere was only Non-Catholic participant in the studySurvey participants were distracted by their classmatesSurvey participation was limited to students in the 7th gradeUse of only two dilemmas provided limited informationThe Catholic Dilemma should have clarified that Theresa’s parish does not offer a vigil massStudents did not choose to attend a Catholic school
21 Reflections from a Similar Study “The low principled moral reasoning scores and high Stage 4 scores frequently observed for conservative religious people are due to cultural and religious bias in Kohlberg’s theory.” – Scott Richards“Kohlberg and Rest’s failure to distinguish between “divine law and authority” and “human law and authority is due to cultural encapsulation and lack of understanding of the conservative religious worldview.” – Scott Richards
22 Placement on the Nature/Nurture Line Important Things to Consider:”Social experiences can challenge a child’s ideas, motivating them to come up with new ones.”“Stage structures and sequences do not simply unfold according to a genetic blueprint.”Stages unfold in an invariant sequence and have cross-cultural universality.
23 The EndThank you for listening to my presentation on Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. If you have any questions regarding the presentation feel free to ask me later. Have a great day!