Presentation on theme: "Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning. The theory concerns itself with the reasons or motivations behind an action, not the action itself—6 different people."— Presentation transcript:
Stage 1 – Punishment and Obedience (ages 7-11) Physical consequences determine the goodness or badness of an act. Avoidance of punishment is the key motivation. The person submits to power and authority in order to avoid punishment.
Stage 2 – Personal Usefulness (ages 7-11) What is right is that which satisfies one’s own needs and occasionally the needs of others. Human relations and fairness are interpreted in a physical, pragmatic way: what is useful to me? “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” is a basic motivation.
Stage 3 – Conforming to the will of the group (ages 11-25) Good behaviour is that which pleases or helps others and gets approval from them. One conforms to standard ideas of appropriate behaviour. One earns acceptance by being “nice.” Behaviour is often judged by intention – “they mean well.”
Stage 4 – Law and Order (begins around age 15 increases to age 25) One sees obedience to rules for their own sake as necessary to maintain order. Right behaviour consists of doing one’s duty and respecting authority. Flaws in the system are due to the failure of individuals to obey the system.
Stage 5 – Social Contract (can be reached beginning around age 21-25) Right action is described in terms of general values that have been agreed upon by the whole society. Laws are justified on the basis of general principles. One may work to change the law for the sake of society. Right action is seen as a matter or personal values.
Stage 6 – Personal Conscience (can be reached beginning in the late 20’s) Right is a decision of personal conscience in accord with abstract ethical principles that apply to all persons everywhere. Decisions are based upon universal principle of justice, the reciprocity and equality of human right, and respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons. Choices are grounded in genuine moral interest in the well-being of others, regardless of who or where they are.
Kohlberg’s Moral Development Stages These are natural steps; universal and sequential One does not skip stages but it is possible to slip back under stress or in certain areas of decision-making—do not remain there because they have already recognized that there is a better way to approach the situation One may be on different levels in various aspects of life One may reason one way and act another but usually reasoning and behaviour are closely related
Kohlberg’s Moral Development Stages continued…. Individuals can become fixed at any level—not everyone reaches mature morality 15-20% of American adults continue to think at the preconventional level—only about ½% reach Stage 6 stages include growth from the totally self-centred to totally other-centred reasoning as well as from reliance on external authority to fidelity to internalized values