We Have DOZENS of writers and have prepared
THOUSANDS of papers..
The following represents only ONE writer's example of ONE style of paper in ONE
Any work requested by you will be custom-research to YOUR own,
individual informational needs !
Research Owned By The PaperStore, Inc.
MORAL DEVELOPMENT: KOHLBERG
By Dr. P. McCabe, For The PaperStore, Inc.,
Several researchers have written about the
development of children but none are quite as well-known as
Lawrence Kohlberg and Jean Piaget. Piaget has become known
for his direct observations of children in various activities
and it was from these observations that he arrived at his
theories. Although better known for his cognitive
developmental stages, Piaget also investigated moral
development. Kohlberg, on the other hand, arrived at his
conclusions regarding moral development by asking
questions of his subjects, specifically moral dilemma
questions. From their responses, he developed his theories in
this important area of human development. Of the two
theories, Kohlberg's is by far the better known and the one
that is not only cited in many educational psychology
classes, it is the one on which subsequent research into this
arena has more often been based perhaps because Kohlberg
offered a clearer and more discrete theory than did Piaget
(Barger, 1996). Kohlberg offered three levels of thinking and
two components in each level; Piaget offered two stages of
moral development which are not as detailed as Kohlberg's
Kohlberg's theories are founded in the
infants are born as clean slates without any kind of morals;
these become developed through the family's training and
interaction (Barger, 1996). Development does not stop at some
predetermined age; moral development continues as the person
ages and gains more knowledge, his or her morals also change
based on this maturational process.
Piaget used three terms when discussing morality: 1.)
moral development; 2.) moral judgment; and 3.) moral behavior
(White, 1996). Moral development, as in Kohlberg' theories,
continues throughout a person's lifetime; moral judgment came
before moral behavior (White, 1996; Barger, 1996). In other
words, before one could behave morally, one had to be able to
judge what was moral; knowledge and judgment must come before
the behavior. Piaget's moral developmental sequence includes
two stages which he determined by observing children playing
games, by asking them questions about how and when rules
could be changed and what lying and stealing meant. Piaget
also presented scenarios to the children depicting a child
doing something wrong and asked which child in the scenarios
should be punished.
The following table reflects Piaget's moral development
Stage Age Range Context
Heteronomous MoralityHeteronomous Morality.
Egocentric thoughts and imminent justice
are the bases of
this stage. Egocentric in that the child is not able to think
beyond themselves; imminent justice in that if you disobey
the rule you get punished.
5 - 10 years old · Rules come from adults.
· Moral rules are permanent and cannot be changed.
Autonomous MoralityAutonomous Morality.
The youngster begins to develop their own set of moral
principles. 10 - Adult
· Rules are not concrete; they are more flexible.
· The society decides what rules are needed but they can be
Kohlberg's invariant theory is much more
Piaget's and follows a progression in moral reasoning with
several steps in it. Both theorists not the influence of the
family although one must return to Piaget's stages of
cognitive development to really see his thoughts regarding
his thoughts on the impact of the family on the infant's and
child's developmental processes. One can also see the
similarities in Kohlberg's design of his stages and Piaget's
design of the cognitive stages (White, 1996).
In Piaget's schema, the first "stage" was dependent on
outside authority such as parents and others of influence in
the child's life. From about age 10 forward, the process
became more internal. In Piaget's opinion, in the
heteronomous stage, the rules were not changeable; there was
no flexibility. Piaget called this equilibrium. His
experiment to prove his point was to ask children which of
two children were naughtier a child who accidentally broke 16
cups or a child that broke one cup while stealing some jam.
Six and seven year-olds typically said the one who broke 15
cups because he broke the most. The fact that the second
child in the scenario was stealing when he broke one cup did
not enter into their decision (Piaget, 1965).
Equilibrium is related to consistency; the child needs
the events in his or her life to "fit" within their frame of
reference, within their past experience and teaching from
their parents and other family members. It provides a balance
for them without which the world is no more than a very
confusing chaotic place in which they cannot function. When
the balance or equilibrium is disrupted, in Piaget's view,
the child must perform some sort of cognitive gymnastics to
put it back together. They do this through the process of
accommodation and assimilation (Piaget, 1965).
Role-taking within the family unit plays a significant
part in moral development, in fact, Piaget believed this
aspect was so essential that moral development would be
stifled without it. Each family member plays different roles
at different times and it is within the family unit that the
individual first as a child and then as an adolescent
develops morals and ethics for his or her life as an adult.
The society plays another significant part but mostly not
until the child becomes an adolescent and begins to "try on"
different social roles. Children and adolescents whose
families have rigid moral codes, however, will not as great
an opportunity to experience different kinds of moral
authorities because the number of moral authorities to which
the adolescent will be exposed is determined greatly by the
degree of adaptability found in the family. When the family
structure is such that the adolescent does have the
opportunity to explore and investigate different moral codes,
the youngster is better able to choose the moral code to
which he or she will ascribe and adopt as their own (Piaget,
1965; White, 1996).
Kohlberg's and Piaget's theories both incorporate the
fact that the family is the first place where children were
first exposed to the concept of morals. Kohlberg believed
that very young children could be taught to behave morally
but because the learning was based on getting punished for
doing something wrong, it is questionable as to how well this
training would be internalized. The parent can force the
child to behave in certain ways that the family considers
moral only because they hold the power to punish the child.
What young children unquestionable learn during their young
years is how their parents and other family members behave in
various situations. Both theorists agree on this point --
children learn by example and the first people they learn
from is their parents. As they grow, learn and mature, they
are capable of having discussions with parents, family
members and others about moral issues; they will learn from
this as well (Barger, 1996).
Kohlberg also made the point that even thought there is
an invariant set of stages in moral development, it does not
mean that everyone will transition through the stages; some
people seem to be stuck at a lower stage for their whole life
(Kohlberg and Turiel, 1971).
There are more similarities
than dissimilarities in the
theories of Kohlberg and Piaget, although that may not be
immediately apparent. They both believe in the significant
influence of the parents and family in the moral development
of the child, for instance, and they both believe the degree
of ridigity in the family impacts the adolescents' moral
development. They also both state or infer that the family
roles are influential in moral development. Kohlberg's is a
more discrete theory with more elements but when all the
writings of each theorist are considered, the student finds
that Piaget's thoughts are more similar than they are in
psychology term papers, papers on psychology about
psych term papers
Barger, Robert N. (1996). A Summary Of spacingLawrence Kohlberg's Stages Of Moral spacingDevelopment.Notre
Dame, IN: University spacingof Notre Dame
Kohlberg, L. And Turiel, E. (1971). Moral spacingDevelopment And
Moral Education. In G. spacingLesser, Ed. Psychology And Educational spacingPractice.
NY: Scott Foresman.
Kohlberg, Lawrence. (1981). The Philosophy Of spacingMoral Development.
NY: Harper & Row, spacingPublishers.
Piaget, J. (1965). The Moral Judgment Of The spacingChild.NY:
The Free Press.
Walker, L.J. (1989). A longitudinal study of spacingmoral Reasoning.
Child Development, spacingv.60, 157-166.
White, Fiona A. (1996, March). Family spacingprocesses as
predictors of spacingadolescents' preferences
for spacingascribed sources of moral
authority: a spacingproposed model. Adolescence, Vol. 31, spacingpp. 133(12).
*No Portion Of This Document
May Be Reproduced Without
Proper Attribution To The PaperStore As A Source
psychology term papers, papers on
psychology about psych term papers