Kohlberg Stages Essay

1718 Words7 Pages
Logan Mills Ann Repp 63605 10/27/11 The Implementation of Kohlberg’s Stages Moral development is a major topic of interest in psychology and education. Moral development consists of several dimensions, these being judgment, behavior, and emotion. Moral judgment and behavior tend to be confused with each other. Know that moral judgment differs significantly from moral behavior. Moral judgment is the ability to evaluate the righteousness of a hypothetical action while moral behavior refers to one’s ability to act moral in actual situations. (Muuss, 176) The reason this distinction is necessary is that Kohlberg’s works and the study done for this paper revolves specifically around the observation of moral judgment. Jean Piaget first developed a theory that moral judgment was created by two stages through his studying of children’s cognitive thinking. This work would be a foundation upon which Lawrence Kohlberg, an American psychologist, developed a theory that moral judgment could be subdivided into six identifiable stages of moral reasoning with three different levels. Kohlberg developed this theory from interviews with groups of young children and their responses to “moral stories”, which were then coded into Kohlberg’s stages. The first two moral stages are under the first level, which is labeled as “pre-conventional”. This level is concerned with external and concrete consequences of an act for one’s self, and moral decisions are based on egocentrism and self-interest. (Muuss, 181) Stage one is known as Heteronomous Morality, and can be ultimately described as reasoning based on either attaining a reward, or avoiding punishment, where good and the bad are defined by obeying or disobeying set authorities and rules. Stage two is called individualistic, instrumental morality. In this level, children lack a respect for other’s rights, but are

More about Kohlberg Stages Essay

Open Document