One Explanation Of Moral Development

8 AO1s and 16 AO2s. A* essay. Set out in table for easy memorising.

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 16:53
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One Explanation Of Moral Development ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 Kohlberg's theory of moral development is 1 Kohlberg's investigative methods were more
based upon the principles of cognitive systematic than Piaget and therefore the
development proposed by Piaget. This explanation may have greater objectivity.
suggests behaviour is driven by cognitive
2 Similar to Piaget, Kohlberg suggests that 2 Snarey's metaanalysis, which covered both
moral development occurs in invariant collectivist and individualist cultures,
stages which are culturally universal. supported the idea that these stages are
universal in all cultures.
3 However, other research has suggested that
the theory is culturally biased and
4 Kohlberg takes a social constructivist
approach to moral development, which
means behaviour is affected by interaction
This means that `good' development can be
promoted and `bad' development can be
addressed with therapy.
3 Kohlberg suggested that the process is 5 Whereas Piaget's theory suggests that
driven by a gradual maturation of thinking cognitive development occurs until about 12,
skills which enable the individual to take Kohlberg's theory of moral development
different perspectives. suggests that it continues into adulthood.
4 Kohlberg also stated that development 6 Therefore, Kohlberg is incorporating the
necessitates environmental and social theories of both Piaget and Vygotsky into
interaction. the theory of moral development.
5 Kohlberg proposed that moral
development occurs in 3 stages. Firstly is
the preconventional stage in which
children learn to accept authority of others
and obey rules.
6 Secondly is the conventional stage, where
children learn about social conformity and
expectations of others.
7 Lastly is the postconventional stage, 7 This theory is deterministic as it suggests
where children develop personal morals that moral development will always lead to
and learn that sometimes norms must be moral behaviour, not allowing for complex
broken to uphold these morals. thinking or situations.
8 Also, the theory is reductionist as it suggests
that once a moral level is reached, behaviour
will be consistent at that level. However it is
clear that there is moral inconsistencies
which are contextdependant.
8 Kohlberg's theory is based on a study of 9 However, the study only used participants
84 American boys aged 1016 in which he aged 1016. How moral decisions are made
studied the thinking behind moral in this age range is not generalisable to the
decisions using interviews. Hypothetical whole population and therefore the study
moral dilemmas were given the lacks population validity.
participants. Kohlberg focussed the
interviews on the thinking behind the

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One Explanation Of Moral Development ­ Andrew F
10 Also, the study only used male participants.
This is gender biased as it suggests that
men and women develop the same without
testing it.
11 Furthermore, Gilligan stated that the theory
was written in a way that was unfair to
women. The theory suggests that the top
level of development is what most men
achieve.…read more


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