Summary Of Kohlberg's Stages Of Moral Development

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The Josephson Institute of Ethics publishes a biennial report on the ethics of high school students throughout the U.S. The results from this study aid in analysis of student behavior, particularly moral and ethical reasoning. Additionally, the results can reveal potential risk factors and is a predictor of how they will behave as adults. For the purposes of this paper, only portions of the study relevant to moral character, parenting skills, and ethics in the workplace will be discussed. Moreover, connections will be made between the study findings and Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. Some high school students who participated in the Josephson Institute (2012) survey exhibited glimpses of post-conventional morality based on Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.…show more content…
Kohlberg proposed that moral reasoning advanced through six stages of moral development, stages 1 to 4 occurred through a “natural evolution of cognitive skills,” while stages 5 and 6 require a teacher (Williams & Arrigo, [2012], p. 123). Moreover, Kohlberg proposed that there were three levels of moral development, each categorized by two stages. Preconventional Morality (Lv. I) is categorized by self-interest, first existent ages 1 through 10. Kohlberg’s stage 1: punishment obedience orientation, is categorized by a perception influenced by punishment and reward. Stage 2: instrumental purpose and exchange, involves egotism and self-interest, pursuing self-interest is interpreted as “right” (Williams & Arrigo, [2012], p.
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