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  • Kohlberg
    • Theory
      • At birth we’re all amoral
      • Morality is how individuals ought to treat one another (respect/ welfare/rights)
      • Freud believed that the personality comprises of three parts, the id/ego/superego. Id: everything that is inherited. Ego: part of the id which becomes modified by the external world. Superego: the internalisation of parental and social moral values.
      • According to Freud, the moral development proceeds when the individual’s selfish desires are repressed and replaced by the values of important socialising agents
      • Skinner: He focused on socialisation as the primary force behind moral development. Skinner focused on the power of external forces eg. reinforcing to shape development
      • Piaget: Piaget focused on the individual’s construction and interpretation of morality from a social cognitive and social-emotional perspective. He believed that it was necessary to study both how morality manifests in the child’s world and the factors that contribute
    • Background
      • Hartshorne and May found there were no personality traits/ psychological dispositions/ entities which correspond to words like honest, service and self-control
      • Kohlberg was inspired by Piaget and expanded on his notions of moral development, seeing it as a more gradual process. He provided a 6 stage sequence of development which reflected changes throughout the lifespan. Specifically, he argued that development proceeds from a selfish desire to avoid punishment 
      • Stages of moral development: (1) Punishment and obedience orientation = avoid punishment (2) Instrumental-relativist orientation = behaviour ultimately brings rewards for yourself (3) Good boy-good girl orientation = ‘Good’ behaviour is what pleases others (4) Law and order orientation = obeying laws is important (5) Social contract orientation = right is demo-cratically agreed (6) Universal principles orientation =  Moral action is taken based upon self-chosen principles
    • Research method
      • Longitudinal study (12 years) asking boys deliberately philosophical moral questions
      • The aim was to show how adolescents move through stages of moral development
      • There was a cross-cultural element
    • Sample
      • 75 American boys aged 10-16 were followed at 3 year intervals (until they were 22-28)
      • Boys in GB, Canada, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey were also studied
    • Procedure
      • Americans: Ps' were given moral dilemmas (short stories) to solve. They were to determine development. Ps' were asked about their motive given for reasoning and values of human life
      • Other boys: Young boys from Taiwan were asked about theft of food (a man has no food for his starving wife, should he steal some?). Boys in the other countries were tested in a similar way
      • Values of human life were tested by asking critical questions. At age 10 they were asked: “Is it better to save the life of one important person or a lot of unimportant people?”. At age 13 etc. they were asked: “Should the doctor ‘mercy kill’ a fatally ill woman requesting death because of her pain?”
    • Findings
      • When asked about motive, answers were given in stages. (1) Obey to avoid punishment. (2) Obey to obtain rewards (3) Obey to avoid disapproval (4) Obey to avoid censure by legitimate authorities (5) Obey to maintain the respect of community welfare (6) Obey to avoid self-condemnation
      • When asked about human life, answers were given in stages. (1) It is based on the social status of its possessor (2) It is instrumental to the satisfaction of needs of its possessor (3) It is based on the empathy of family members etc. (4) It is sacred (5). Life is a universal human right (6) There is a universal human value of respect
      • About 50% of the stages was a ps' thinking was at a single stage and ps' showed progression with age
      • Not all ps' reached Stage 6
      • Ps' went through the stages one at a time/in order. They always either stopped or continued to move upward
      • Children tend to move forward when confronted with the views of a child one stage further along and they seem to prefer this next stage 
      • Young Taiwanese boys were commonly stage 2
      • In the US, by age 16, Stage-6 was rarely used (but at 13, Stage-3 wasn't used)
      • Dvelopment in Mexico and Taiwan was a little slower
      • Middle-class kids were more advanced in moral judgement than matched lower-class kids
      • No differences were found within religions
    • Conclusions
      • There is an invariant development sequence
      • Stages happen one at a time and in order
      • An individual may stop developing at any given time
      • There is a cultural universality to Kohlberg's stage theory
      • MC kids move further and faster than WC kids
      • Development is not significantly affected by social/cultural/religious conditions


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