Kohlberg

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background?
Kohlberg’s theory of moral development was based on the work of Piaget, which argued that cognitive development occurs in stages, limited by biological maturation, which means that moral reasoning would also be limited by the same processes
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what did he produce?
Kohlberg produced a universal (applied to all humans), stage theory, where each stage could not be attained before the preceding stage was mastered
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what were the 3 stages?
pre-conventional level, conventional level and post conventional level
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whats in the pre-conventional level?
Stage 1: Good/bad decided by reward /punishment. Someone’s value decided by their property/status. Stage 2: Good to others because they’ll reciprocate. People are valuable if they’re useful.
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whats in the conventional level?
Stage 3: Conform for social approval. People have value because they are loved by others. Stage 4: Maintain law and order for the benefit of society, even if unjust. Life is sacred because religion or social rules say it is.
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whats in the post conventional level?
Stage 5: Decide what it right by consensus (agreement between people) reached through fair procedures, so believe in Human Rights, such as the right to life.
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what stage 6 in the post conventional level?
Stage 6: Apply autonomous (own) beliefs universally and equally, i.e. judge ourselves and all others in a consistent way, over Law and norms or values of the groups we belong to. Respect other’s lives equally and their individual choices.
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whats the aim?
To find evidence for his stage theory of moral development.
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what are the research methods?
Longitudinal study: hypothetical moral scenarios to boys, every 3 years, for a 12 year period. Cross-cultural: follow-up studies of populations in Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey. Data collected via self-report: unstructured interview using moral dilemas
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what is the sample?
75 American boys aged 10-16 when the study begun, and were measured every 3 years up to ages 22-28. · In the cross-cultural studies, only boys were measured from age 10-16, from urban populations in Mexico and Taiwan, + village communities in T,T, Y
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method, first step?
Presented with moral dilemmas as short stories, and asked what the main character should do and why.
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method, second step?
To assess value of human life, they were asked, at age 10, whether it’s better to save the life of one important person over lots of unimportant people, and at age 13+ whether a Dr should mercy-kill a fatally ill woman.
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method, third step?
Their responses were assessed for stage of moral reasoning on 25 basic aspects of morality, including ‘Motive given for rule obedience or moral action’ and ‘Value of Human Life
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method, fourth step?
Moral dilemmas, like the Heinz dilemma on medicine, were adapted for other cultures and translated. I.e. boys in Taiwan villages were asked whether a man should steal food to save his dying wife.
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findings and conclusions from the US?
Participants progressed through- stages as they aged, higher stage of moral reasoning was not demonstrated before reasoning at the previous stage was observed. stage 5 and 6 were the exception,some adults able to reason at 6 stage and not 5.
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what does the first finding and conclusion show?
This largely supports Kohlberg’s stage theory, apart from Stage 5 and 6, which he suggested may actually be alternate ways of reasoning rather than one developing from the other.
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second conclusion and finding?
From moral discussion conducted in groups under experimental conditions, Kohlberg also found children could operate at the next stage in moral reasoning if confronted with another child modeling reasoning at the higher level.
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what does the second finding and conclusion show?
This supports that social factors influence the rate of development, consistent with Vygotsky’s idea of Zone of Proximal Development.
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what were the cross cultural findings?
children developed progressively through the stages, in order. At age 10, in all cultures, the majority of children gave responses at Stage 1 of moral reasoning.
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second cross cultural finding?
. At age 16, cultural differences emerged in rates of development: in the US, the majority of children gave responses at Stage 5 of moral reasoning, whereas in Taiwan and Mexico the majority gave responses at Stage 3.
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what does the first and second finding and conclusion show?
This supports a universal stage theory of development as improvements in reasoning are acquired in order and cannot be made without mastering the stage before, regardless of culture
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third cross cultural finding and conclusion?
Village boys (in Yucatan and Turkey) progressed slowest and the least, followed by lower-class urban boys, and urban middle-class boys progressed fastest and the furthest through the stages. Although it developed in village boys, most stayed at 1.
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what does finding and conclusion three show?
. This also supports the universal stage theory but suggests that social factors-perhaps formal education- influence the rate of development.
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what did he produce?

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Kohlberg produced a universal (applied to all humans), stage theory, where each stage could not be attained before the preceding stage was mastered

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what were the 3 stages?

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whats in the pre-conventional level?

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whats in the conventional level?

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