Kohlberg: The Child as Moral Philosopher

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  • Kohlberg
    • Methodology
      • Interviews
      • Qualitative data
      • Cross-cultural comparisons
      • Longitudinal
      • Participants
        • 75 American Boys
        • GB, Canada, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey
        • All boys, androcentric
        • 10-16 and 22-28
    • Procedure
      • Nine hypothetical moral dilemmas
        • Each presented a conflict between two moral issues
        • Participants asked to discuss three of these
      • Promted with 10 or more open ended questions
      • Stage theory constructed
      • Interview every three years
    • Findings
      • Younger children thought at a preconventional level e.g accepting authority
      • Developed into conventional level as children grew older
      • Development slower in Mexico and Taiwan
    • Conclusions
      • Stages are invariant and universal
      • "Each new stage represents a more equillibriated form of moral understanding, resulting in a more logically consistent and morally mature form of understanding
    • Evaluation
      • Sample
        • All boys
          • Gilligan: female morality based more on care rather than justice(in males)
          • Jorgensen:      Gilligan is more of an expansion that a critisism
      • External Validity
        • Gilligan: Not based on real life
      • SDB
        • Self report
          • May portray themselves are morally higher
        • Post conventional level: 15% likely to cheat, 70 for pre
      • Based on how individuals think, ideal moral thinking
      • Burton: Only likely to follow through on some behaviours like, cheating and sharing toys


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