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Kohlberg Summary Essay

738 words - 3 pages

How is an individuals' moral character established throughout his lifespan? What factors influence the decisions that we make and what processes do we go through in making those decisions? Are the decisions that we make simply intuitions of right from wrong or are they governed by outside factors that dictate our decision making abilities? All of these questions are questions that many dynamic psychologists have tried to answer and define throughout the years. More notably are Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg, who both addressed the concerns of moral development in the individual, but in differing ways. Piaget, who was best known for his work in how we learn throughout our development, ...view middle of the document...

Each level holds two stages that define the cognitive development of our reasoning and moralistic skill sets.
In the Pre-Conventional Morality Level, stages one (1) and two (2) consist of ethical skills that are based mainly on a rewards and consequences mentality. Additionally, the reasoning behind decision making is based on some physical aspect of behavior (McLeod, 2013). As a child, the individual is only exposed to moral decisions based on their actions that result in either a reward(candy or toy) or a consequence (spanking or punishment). At stage one (1), the child chooses to uphold good behavior in order receive recognition or reward. During stage two (2) the individual begins to realize that there are various views of what is considered right and wrong and that they can manipulate these views to benefit themselves, personally.
At the Conventional Morality Level, reasoning skills are defined by the rules as set by outside factors and parental standards. Stage three (3), focuses on one's relationship with others and how that individual is viewed by others, while stage four (4) is focused on how the laws and rules affect the decision making of the individual. Ethical standards are being established in both the internal and external surroundings of the individual...

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