Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development:
- Kohlberg’s theory of moral development is a theory that focuses on how children develop morality and moral reasoning.
- Kohlberg claims that children go through a series of stages in their moral development.
- According to him, as one moves through the stages, one becomes less self-interested and more impartial in one’s outlook.
- The scale has 3 major levels and 6 minor stages.
- This is an egoistic level without concern for others. At this age, children’s decisions are primarily shaped by the expectations of adults and the consequences for breaking the rules.
- Stage 1: Here action is regulated by reward and punishment.
- Stage 2: Here altruistic acts are performed in the anticipation of reciprocity.
- It involves altruistic care for others. During this time, adolescents and adults internalize the moral standards they have learned from their role models and from society.
- Stage 3: Interpersonal relationships are fostered by taking into account the needs of others. Kohlbergs Theory of Moral Development
- Stage 4: Laws are formulated to promote the cohesiveness of society or group.
- Here duties are formulated in terms of abstract rules that transcend cultures and situations. At this level of moral development, people develop an understanding of abstract principles of morality. Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
- Stage 5: Here violation of a law is allowed if it results into greater good.
- Stage 6: The highest level which is concerned with rights and justice.
Kohlberg points out that women get stuck at the 3rd stage, they give importance to relationships rather than justice. He tries to demonstrate this through a thought experiment.