Ethics - Moral Development

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Moral developments in humans,theories,concepts: 

Moral developments in humans,theories,concept s Group 7

Group Members: 

Group Members Abhinav Mathew – F10061

What is Moral Development ?: 

What is Moral Development ? Moral development involves thoughts , feelings and behaviors regarding standards of right and wrong. Moral development includes both intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions Humans go through various stages in moral development starting from chiildhood – just as their physical , emotional and cognitive abilities develop as they age.

Piaget’s theory on Moral Development: 

Piaget’s theory on Moral Development Two-stage theory – Heteronomous and Autonomous Morality Children younger than 10 or 11 years - regard rules as fixed and absolute Older children consider them differently - i.e it is more relativistic Dealing with abstracts , hypotheticals and contradictory issues in ambiguous situations help to sharpen this type of moral development.

Kohlberg’s theory on Moral Development: 

Kohlberg’s theory on Moral Development Kohlberg, was born in 1927, grew up in Bronxville, New York. In Chicago (1949) he completed his graduate work in psychology. He became interested in Piaget and began interviewing children and adolescents on moral issues Rendered his first theory in 1958.

Kohlberg contd.: 

Kohlberg contd. Interviewed boys from both middle and lower class families in Chicago – 10, 13 & 16 yrs old Heinz dilemma- tested moral reasoning Kohlberg’s grouped stages of Moral development into 3levels each having 2 st - Level 1: Pre-conventional stages - Level 2 :Conventional stages - Level 3 : Post- conventional stages

Level 1 : Preconventional: 

Level 1 : Preconventional The child’s adherence to moral standards is based on a self-absorbed avoidance of pain “I will do what I am supposed to do In order to avoid punishment ” Children do not yet speak as members of society ,they see morality as something external to themselves. 2 sub stages : a)Punishment and obedience orientation & b) Instrumental and relative orientation

Level 2: Conventional : 

Level 2: Conventional Adherence to moral standards is based on living up to the expectations of family , friends and society . “I will do what I a supposed to do as things work out better when everyone follows the rules.” 2 sub stages : a)Interpersonal concordance orientation & b) Law and Order orientation

Level 3 :Post conventional: 

Level 3 :Post conventional Rational evaluation of Moral standards and critical evaluation (impartiality) “ I will do (or wont do) what I am supposed to do because I think ( or don’t think) it is the right thing to do.” 2 sub stages : a)Social contract orientation & b)Universal ethical principles orientation

Criticisms to Kohlberg’s theory: 

Criticisms to Kohlberg’s theory Stages : Kohlberg claimed that higher stages are morally preferable to lower stages . Gender : Carol Gilligan claims that this theory fails to trace out the pattern of development of women - “ for women morality is primarily a matter of caring and being responsible for others whom one is involved in personal relationships.”

Criticisms cont: 

Criticisms cont Cultural Bias : only urban countries seem to progress to the 5 th level of reasoning . Sampling – Only white middle class boys interviewed. Not a good basis for a universal concept Stages :Not enough evidence to prove that human beings progress through all 3 stages of development.

Social Learning Theory: 

Social Learning Theory Children are more likely to imitate models who are important to them Observing behaviour of people such as parents and teachers e.g (cutting cake equally). Observing same sex such as peers or siblings e.g. tidying up, lending a CD to a friend, will reinforce reward with behaviour.

Evaluation of Social theory: 

Evaluation of Social theory Does explain why children often use behaviours in certain situations but not others. All research is based on lab work, watching videos etc, this is not like real life. Predicts children will learn moral behaviour as a result of experience, therefore pattern will not be consistent