Formative Analysis and Theory Application of Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

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Formative Analysis and Theory Application

Collin Wimbley grew up in a small town in Geneva Idaho, just outside Wyoming. He currently lives at the Legacy Assisted Living House. This paper will go through three distinct periods of Collin's life and his progression through Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Kohlberg's theory consists of three levels, each with two stages within them. The pre-conventional level is at the base, the first stage being obedience and punishment orientation, the second self-interest orientation. The conventional level is second, with interpersonal accord and conformity with societal norms as the third stage and law and order morality as the fourth. Kohlberg asserts that the majority of adults do not make it past the fourth stage, but those who do enter the third level, post-conventional morality, have the option of aspiring to three additional stages. The fifth stage consists of the belief that no single choice is correct or absolute, but an action's morality is weighed by the context surrounding it. It also involves a genuine care for the rest of society. In the sixth stage moral reasoning is based on abstract logic using universal ethical principles. Kohlberg also asserted that a seventh stage may exist, the transcendental morality or morality of cosmic orientation stage, which links religion with moral reasoning. The three areas of Collin's life this paper will address are childhood to adolescence, early to middle adulthood, and late adulthood.

First, childhood experiences effect on moral development. Collin's father owned a dairy farm, as well as raising all the food for the family and cattle, he milked the cows alongside his children daily. Hard work was a constant in his life, and from an early age he valued working for a living. While Collin was small he behaved well and worked in order to avoid punishment, the first of Kohlberg's stages. He and his six siblings, four girls and two boys, worked together until the work...
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