Lawrence Kohlberg born in 1927 was an American Psychologist who led the movement in the study of moral development in the late 1950’s. He is an outstanding example of research in the Piagetian tradition. He set out to improve and extend the work of Piaget. His work focused on Moral Development and Moral reasoning and began to develop a stage theory of moral thinking. His theories were based on the way children, adolescents and adults develop moral reasoning. The first three of these stages were in essence Piaget’s initial formations concerning cognitive reasoning.
In his doctoral dissertation (1958a) while studying at the University of Chicago Kohlberg composed six stages (in three levels, with two stages each) of moral development, based on cognitive reasoning, through which each person passes in unvarying and irreversible order. Daeg de Mott (2007). Kohlberg (1973) declares his theory holds that moral reasoning, which is the basis for ethical behaviour has six identifiable developmental constructive stages- each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than the last. Kohlberg believed that people must pass through each of these stages in order but not everyone would reach the last stage of moral judgement. According to Walker (1989) it is extremely rare to regress backward in stages-to lose functionality of higher stage abilities.
Kohlberg adapted Piaget’s clinical interview technique in order to develop a standardised procedure for eliciting participant’s moral reasoning. Durkin (1995).
His technique involved giving moral dilemmas stories about the rights of some authority and the need of some serving individual who was unfairly treated
to participants. The participants were then asked to make a decision about what a person should do and then to explain why they chose that outcome.
Kohlberg was interested in how they would justify their actions. One of these stories was about a man called Heinz whose wife was dying of cancer. A... [continues]
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