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Lawrence Kohlberg The Stages of Moral Development By: Clare Elfelt and Erin Moore.

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Presentation on theme: "Lawrence Kohlberg The Stages of Moral Development By: Clare Elfelt and Erin Moore."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lawrence Kohlberg The Stages of Moral Development By: Clare Elfelt and Erin Moore

2 Background Information Lawrence Kohlberg was born in 1927 Received Bachelors Degree and PhD in Psychology Taught at Yale, the University of Chicago, and Harvard Expanded on Piagets theories of Cognitive Development Made significant discoveries within the field of Moral Development Kohlberg died in 1971

3 Definition of Terms Moral Reasoning – the process of determining right or wrong in a given situation Moral Dilemma - fictional stories that describe situations in which a person has to make a moral decision Values – the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrong Choice – An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities

4 The Cognitive-Developmental Theory of Moralization Pre-Conventional Morality Stage 1: Obedience Orientation Stage 2: Individualism Orientation Conventional Morality Stage 3: Interpersonal Orientation Stage 4: Social Order Orientation Post-Conventional Morality Stage 5: Social Contract Orientation Stage 6: Universal Ethics Orientation

5 Stage 1: Obedience The child assumes that the rules of the authority figure must be unquestioned View morality as external to themselves Example of reasoning: Its bad to steal

6 Stage 2: Individualism Act according to ones own self-interest Speak as isolated individuals instead of reasoning members of society Example of reasoning: Stealing is okay if you need something

7 Stage 3: Interpersonal Best observed in two-person relationships Emphasis on living up to social expectations Example of reasoning: He was a good man because he didnt steal

8 Stage 4: Social Order Make observations in relation to society as a whole Focus on maintaining law and order Example of reasoning: Its against the law to steal

9 Stage 5: Social Contract Understand that there are differing of opinion of what is right and wrong Need for rights and democracy Example of reasoning: It is legally wrong to steal but it in this case it is morally right

10 Stage 6: Universal Ethics Ability to engage in abstract reasoning Protection of individual rights and disputes settled through the democratic process Kohlberg believed this stage to be theoretical in nature

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?

12 Our Hypotheses Catholic 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.

13 Data Collection Instrument Part 1 Are you Catholic? Circle yes or no. Yes or No How old are you? __________ What is your gender? Circle your answer. Male or Female Part 2 Joe 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 Joes 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 didnt 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 3 Theresa 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 Theresas 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 Sundays 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 Kohlbergs Definition:Expected Statements in Response to the Dilemma: Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation T he child assumes that the rules of the authority figure must be unquestioned View morality as external to themselves Avoidance of punishment My dad/mom told me not to… Youll get punished/ You wont get punished I dont want to get in trouble Stage 2: Individualism and Exchange Act according to ones own self-interest Speak as isolated individuals instead of reasoning members of society Notion 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 Orientation Best observed in two-person relationships Emphasis 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 Order Make observations in relation to society as a whole Focus 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 Rights Stress on basic rights and democratic procedures to change unfair laws Understanding 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 Principles Ability to engage in abstract reasoning Protection of individual rights and disputes settled through the democratic process Kohlberg considered Stage 6 to be theoretical in nature, therefore we did not consider this possibility in our research study

15 Results from Kohlberg Dilemma

16 Results from Catholic Dilemma

17 Comparison of Results

18 Interesting Responses No she should go to mass because its 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 shouldnt 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 dilemmas One of our hypotheses was correct: The girl participant did not exhibit different reasoning than the male participants Two of our hypotheses were incorrect: Catholic students on the whole did not exhibit a change in moral reasoning Catholic 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 study There was only Non-Catholic participant in the study Survey participants were distracted by their classmates Survey participation was limited to students in the 7 th grade Use of only two dilemmas provided limited information The Catholic Dilemma should have clarified that Theresas parish does not offer a vigil mass Students did not choose to attend a Catholic school

21 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 Kohlbergs theory. – Scott Richards Kohlberg and Rests 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 Reflections from a Similar Study

22 Placement on the Nature/Nurture Line NatureNurture Important Things to Consider: -Social experiences can challenge a childs 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.

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