Outline Of Kohlberg's Three Levels Of Morality

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Kohlberg believed that there is 3 levels of morality which can be broken down into a further 6 stages:
1. Pre-conventional morality; At this stage, our moral codes are set by the adults in our lives. This generally depends on the consequences for going against the rules set out by our parents. Kohlberg stated that this level generally occurs up to and sometimes over the age of 9. This level can be broken down into 2 minor stages-
• Stage 1:”Pleasure/Pain Orientation” (Psychology and Life, 2013); The child is well behaved due to an awareness that there will be negative consequences such as punishment.
• Stage 2:”Cost-Benefit Orientation; Reciprocity” (Psychology and Life, 2013); Cost-benefit orientation is all about the idea of an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth.
2. Conventional morality; It is at this point that the morals of significant role models or adults in a person/child’s life begin to become exceptionally important to the child. This level can be broken down into 2 minor stages-
• Stage 3: “Good-child orientation” (Psychology and Life, 2013); A child is well behaved “to gain acceptance” in society and avoid being an outsider.
• Stage 4: “Law and Order Orientation” (Psychology and Life, 2013); A child attempts to follow all rules to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities.
3. Post-conventional morality; A person’s judgment is based far more on their own individual opinion and their moral decision making and reasoning is related to their own ideas and
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