Psychology, measured intelligence and moral understanding.

measured intelligence and moral understanding.

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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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