- To find evidence in support of a progression through stages of moral development.
- 1963. Based on 58 BOYS from CHICAGO of working and middle class, aged 7,10,13 and 16.
- Each boy given a 2 hour INTERVIEW with 10 DILEMMAS which they had to solve including the HEINZ dilemma.
- Some of the boys were followed up at 3-yearly INTERVALS up to age 30-36, making this a LONGITUDINAL study.
- In 1969, Kohlberg also studied children in the UK, MEXICO, TAIWAN, TURKEY, the USA and YUCATAN.
- Younger boys tended to perform at stages 1 and 2, with older boys performing at stages 3 and 4. Suggests support for DEVELOPMENT through stages.
- Patterns were consistent in the cross-cultural studies, although progression was slower in the non-industrialised societies.
- No support was found for stage 6 in this sample and in 1978 Kohlberg revised his view and agreed there might not be a separate stage 6.
- more recent applications with criminal samples have suggested that criminals committing crimes for financial gain show more immature reasoning than those commiting violent crimes, suggesting Kohlberg's stages can be applied to types of criminality.
- Does seem to be support across cultures for the stage theory. Methodology has been heavily criticised but
- Stage 1 and 2: Doing what is right as of fear of punishment. For personal gain, perhaps a reward.
- Stage 3 and 4: Doing what is right according to majority to be a good boy/girl. It is your duty+helps society. Laws must be obeyed for the common good.
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