Moral Development AP Psychology Lawrence Kohlberg Kohlberg’s stages Kohlberg Examples • “Law? What do I care about law? Ain’t I got the power?” • [19th C. entrepreneur Cornelius Vanderbilt] • “I never really gave it any thought that it was illegal. I was part of the club and everybody was doing it. I have nothing to hide on this thing. I think it was wrong and I’m glad something is being done about it, I just hope it doesn’t hurt me. I am an innocent party.” • [20th C. bank president accused of making illegal campaign contributions] Kohlberg Exercise • “There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power from which all its power and authority are derived and treats him accordingly.” • [19th C. writer/philosopher Henry David Thoreau] More Kohlberg Exercises • “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be right; but our country right or wrong.” • [19th C. American Naval Commander, Stephen Decatur] • “…No man has a moral right to transact business unless the man he deals with has an opportunity also to make something. Unless he lives and let live, he is not an honest man in business. There are not exceptions to this great rule.” [19th C. Preacher] Kohlberg Evaluation of Kohlberg • Beginning studies only included white, privileged young men & boys • Later studies involved women but they scored lower on his scale (Carol Gilligan will address this) • Reflects intrapersonal not interpersonal behaviors • Justice perspective – individual stands alone to decide… • Scoring method very complex and lacked inter-rater reliability • Cultural differences? • Moral reasoning not always = to moral behavior • Talk vs Action Carol Gilligan Gilligan’s book In a Different Voice http://books.google.com/books?id=XItMnL7ho2gC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:Carol+inauthor:Gilligan Carol Gilligan The “Caring” Perspective on moral development views people in terms of interpersonal communication, relationships, concern for others Carol Gilligan Girls Dilemna in adolescence: Be independent – appear selfish Remain caring – selfless Become less confident and more tentative - silent Gilligan’s stages Gilligan • Individual rights and rules were considered a higher stage in Kohlberg’s theory than women’s perspective on caring about the effect on human relationships • Women have different moral and psychological tendencies • Women see the complexities and sometimes disregard the rules to do the caring thing • Based on ego development not cognitive development like Kohlberg’s Additional criticism • She has been popularly acclaimed, but Christina Hoff Sommers, in her book The War Against Boys • In a Different Voice studies did not follow standard research protocol. Gilligan used small samples, her findings were not peer reviewed, More criticism • Latest studies: moral reasoning has limited practical value • Studies – no close connection between people’s moral reasoning and their behavior • Most moral reasoning comes after people have intuitively decided how to act • Is moral reasoning just a rational justification for an emotional decision?
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