Describe and evaluate any two theories in developmental psychology. By Aimee Kaur
This paper will focus on two theories in moral development within developmental Psychology. There are three components to our morality; these are emotional, cognitive and behavioural. Shaffer (1993) described morals as a “set of principles or ideals that help the individual to distinguish right from wrong and to act on this decision” In his book 'The Moral Judgement of the Child' (1932), Piaget states that 'all morality consists in a system of rules.' Piaget believed that children develop morality through a series of stages and conducted an experiment using marbles with children. He found younger children just accepted the rules of the game and didn’t question them but the older children (10+) did question the rules. Indicating as children progress with age so does there moral thinking. Piaget suggested that moral development is a mirror image of their cognitive development and the morality of younger children as heteronomous (subject to others laws and rules) and older children as autonomous (subject to one’s own laws and rules). The developmental psychologist Kohlberg (1958) expanded and refined Piaget's earlier work. He believed there are 3 levels and six sublevels of moral development. The three levels of morality that Kohlberg posited are Preconventional Morality, which suggests decisions are made by what rewards and punishments we will gain from our actions. Conventional Morality, which suggested that what good moral behaviour is judged by what the majority deem to be. Therefore, moral judgment can be based on what others think of you and laws and rules need to be obeyed to ensure social order. The final level is Postconventional Morality Laws and rules are decided by society as a whole through democratic process. However, these laws/rules can be changed or broken if they are damaging to an individual. What is correct and moral in your own conscience and also conforms to...
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