Psychology, measured intelligence and moral understanding.

measured intelligence and moral understanding.


piaget's theory of moral development

the key features of this theory of moral development see's two key stages, one being from age 5 called the heteronomous stage. and from 10 onwards develops a further autonomous stage.

the heteronomous stage -

  • rules are rigid - the rules must be strictly enforced as they have come from a higher being and should not be changed at all
  • consquences are more important than intentions - if a child breaks more cups even if his intentions was good than a child who broke one cup for the wrong reasons.
  • the world is ruled according to immanent justice - the world is fair and just and any wrong doing will be punished with immanent punishment
  • obedience to adults is more important than loyalty to friends - its ok to tell on your mates to a grown-up because they need to be punished,
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piaget's theory of moral development 2

the autonomous stage -

  • rules are flexible - rules are designed to make things fair and it's right to change them as long as everyone agrees
  • intentions are more important than consequences
  • beleif in immanent justice declines - this stage does not disappear altogether
  • loyalty to friends is more important than obedience to authority
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piaget's theory of moral development evaluation

  • :) - the methodology provides insight into children's thinking
  • :) - there are many studies that support the theory - these demonstrate that yound children beleive consequences to be more important than intentions while older children think that intentions are more important.
  • :) - there is a parallel between cognitive development and the development of moral thinking - this predicts that moral reasoning depend onthe deeper understanding brought avout cognitive development.
  • :( it may underestimate the abilities of young children to appreciate intentions if the consequences are positive - piaget depends advances in moral reasoning depend on the deeper understanding brought about b cognitive development.
  • :( - "dilemma stories" are rather contrived
  • :( - children do not beleive all rules should be rigidly kept
  • :( - piaget's theory tends to neglect the behavioural component of morality (how people actually behave) and the emotional component (how people feel)
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