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Moral Development Overview l Piaget on Moral Development l Kohlberg’s System n Heinz Dilemma n Kohlberg’s Stages l Moral Reasoning and Behavior l Gilligan’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Moral Development Overview l Piaget on Moral Development l Kohlberg’s System n Heinz Dilemma n Kohlberg’s Stages l Moral Reasoning and Behavior l Gilligan’s."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Moral Development Overview l Piaget on Moral Development l Kohlberg’s System n Heinz Dilemma n Kohlberg’s Stages l Moral Reasoning and Behavior l Gilligan’s Model l Gilligan: Gender Differences in Self-definition l Gilligan: Gender Differences in Moral Reasoning

3 Piaget on Moral Development Watched boys playing marbles, asked questions about morality Two major levels of thinking about morality Ages 4-7: Heteronomous: –Justice/rules are properties of the world, not people –Behaviors are right / wrong because of the consequences, not intentions Ages 10 and older: Autonomous: –Rules are created by people –Intentions must be considered. –11-13: boys fascinated with rules Ages 7-10: transitional period (some features of heteronomous, some of autonomous)

4 Kohlberg’s System l Moral development is the development of a sense of justice n Interest is on moral reasoning, not behavior l Stage theory l Movement across stages is a function of need to resolve conflict n Conflict occurs when child realizes others have a different perspective. n For adolescent, involves balancing multiple perspectives at once.

5 Heinz Dilemma In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging 10 times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper, or let him pay later. But the druggist said, "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.

6 Questions for Heinz Dilemma Should Heinz steal the drug? Why or why not? Is it a husband's duty to steal the drug for his wife if he can get it no other way? Did the druggist have the right to charge that much when there was no law setting a limit? Why? Level of moral development doesn't hinge on the answer per se, but reasoning 3 levels of moral development, each with 2 stages.

7 Kohlberg’s Stages Precon- ventional Conven- tional Postcon- ventional

8 Moral Reasoning and Behavior l Higher levels of moral reasoning correlated with: n Lower probability of antisocial behavior n Lower susceptibility to peer pressure n Increased likelihood of political activity n Increased likelihood of prosocial behavior (helping others), service to others

9 Gilligan’s Model l Why do women always score stage 3? l For most females, morality is concerned with an “Ethic of care,” not absolute principles of justice l Moral decisions are shaped by responsiveness to others, and interdependence

10 Gilligan’s Influences:Chodorow l Infant’s first intimate relationship is with a woman (mother), and sense of self develops out of this relationship l Girls can continue to identify with mother l But boys must pull away emotionally to be develop self (male identity). n Thus, girls’ personalities can develop within a relationship–empathy and connection are at core. n Boys must set a boundary in relationship with mother, which is the prototype of all future close relationships

11 Gilligan: Gender Differences in Self-definition l Boys define self in terms of individual, separate characteristics: “I am 11 years old, I live in Boston, I am good at most school subjects, I am tall, I like sports.” l Girls define self in relationship: “I want to help other people, everybody should try to help somebody else in some way.”

12 Gilligan: Gender Differences in Moral Reasoning l Males: n Principled moral judgments n Tend to hypothetically abstract moral problem from social situation n Concern for rights of others l Females n Moral problem involves a particular situation (contextual) n Seek enough details to engage their full compassion n Concern with caring for, not hurting others, take into account consequences of choices

13 Examples: Male on Heinz Dilemma l Heinz should steal the drug “to save a life” n Stealing is justified in life and death situation (Stage 3, ‘life norm’) n Out of charity, just to save a human being (#3) n “If you had a loved one, you’d want [him/her] to hold your life as sacred” [Stg 2] n Never mentions the druggist

14 Women on Heinz Dilemma l Heinz should not steal the drug, because: n “I don’t believe in stealing…if they don’t want to give it to you I don’t think you should forcibly take it from them” n “Stealing is personal…a person is more important than something material…you’re invading the person’s sphere” n “Just to really persevere with [the druggist]…get other people involved, you know, doctors, other druggists, to help…as many as [Heinz] could… n …”there must be some other way for him to get through to the druggist”

15 Caring Dilemma l Conflict between responsibility to self versus others l Pre-adolescent Boys: “Most important thing in your decision should be yourself--don’t let yourself be guided totally by other people” l Pre-adolescent Girls: “I don’t think your job is as important as someone you really love…like your husband or close friend

16 Q: What Does Responsibility Mean? l Pre-adolescent Girls: That other people are counting on you to do something, and you can’t just decide, “Well, I’d rather do this or this.” l Pre-adolescent Boys: “Like if I want to throw a rock, not throwing it at a window, because I thought of the people who would have to pay for that window…”

17 Cultural Critique of Kohlberg l Postconventional level reached by few outside of Western cultures. Requires secular, humanistic basis. n Principles derived on the basis of tradition or religion—i.e., not individual—are scored as ‘Conventional.’ n Shweder and colleagues (including Jensen), 3 ethics: –Autonomy: Individual is primary moral authority, and is free as long as their behavior doesn’t hurt anyone. –Community: Commitments and obligations; responsibility to family, community, other groups as basis for morality. –Divinity: Divine authority (based on religious authorities and texts)


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