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Kohlberg Gempel

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Kohlberg and Gilligan:
Theories of Moral
Development
Jordan and Micah Gempel
Kohlberg
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Born October 25, 1927 in Bronxville, New York,
died January 19, 1987
Attended Phillips Academy
After graduation, joined Merchant Marines
Joined Haganah
"The Holocaust is the event in human history
that most bespeaks the need for moral
education and for a philosophy that can guide it.
My own interest in morality and moral education
arose in part as a response to the Holocaust, an
event so enormous that it often fails to provoke a
sense of injustice in many individuals and
societies." -Kohlberg
Kohlberg
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Enrolled in University of Chicago in 1948
Received Doctorate degree from University of
Chicago in 1958
Professor at Yale University from 1959-1961
Taught at University of Chicago in 1962
In 1968 taught at Harvard University
Kohlberg’s Theory
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Developed a stage theory of moral
development, based upon Piaget
Kohlberg’s Research
 Sample of 72 boys, ages 10, 13, and 16
 Gave them dilemmas—ex: Heinz
Dilemma
 Not interested in “yes” or “no” answers,
but the reason behind the answer.
Kohlberg’s Stages
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Level I: Preconventional Morality
 Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment
Orientation
 Stage 2: Individualism and Exchange
Level II: Conventional Morality
 Stage 3: Good Interpersonal Relationships
 Stage 4: Maintaining the Social Order
Level III: Postconventional Morality
 Stage 5: Social Contract and Individual Rights
 Stage 6: Universal Principles
On Nature/Nurture Debate:
 Kohlberg claims that progression
through his stages is not genetic, but
it is not a product of socialization
either, so…
 Kohlberg argues that his stages
emerge from one’s own thinking
about moral problems…
 So, we believe Kohlberg falls in the
middle of the nature/nurture line.
Important Terms
Qualitative Differences
 Structured Wholes
 Invariant Sequences
 Hierarchic Integrations
 Universal Sequences
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Definitions of Morality
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Kohlberg defines morality as a natural product of
a universal tendency towards empathy or role
taking—putting self in shoes of another. It is a
universal concern for justice.
Gilligan defines morality as the realm of how one
decides/resolves conflicts (conflicts between
personal desires and social things/desires of self
versus of another person/people). Morality is
concerned with responsibilities, obligations, and
values.
Carol Gilligan
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Born November 28, 1936
Received Bachelors Degree from
Swarthmore College
Received master's degree in clinical
psychology from Radcliffe College,
Received Ph.D. in social psychology from
Harvard University
Best known for book, In a Different Voice
Gilligan’s Position
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Gilligan was a associate of Kohlberg at Harvard.
Criticized Kohlberg’s work as biased against
girls and women.
Males’ moral thought leans towards justice
Females’ moral thought leans towards care
So, woman will score lower on Kohlberg’s scale
 Woman tend to score within stage 3, and men
score in stages 4 and 5
Gilligan’s Stage Theory
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Preconventional: Individual Survival
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Conventional: Self sacrifice is goodness
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Then, a transition is made from selfishness to
responsibility
Then, transition from goodness to truth, that
she is a person too.
Postconventional: Principle of
nonviolence, do not hurt self or others
Our Research Project
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Problem: Overall, does gender play a role
in how a child develops ideas of morality?
Do men and women score differently on
Kohlberg’s scale—Girls scoring lower, men
higher?
 Does Gilligan’s theory of moral orientations
prove plausible—do men gravitate toward the
justice approach and women toward the care
approach?
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Hypothesis
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Based on our research, we believe that
girls will score lower than boys on
Kohlberg’s scale. Also, we predict that
men will gravitate towards a justice-based
approach when confronted with a moral
dilemma, while woman take a more caring
and compassionate based approach.
Procedure
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Gave surveys to teacher’s at North Hills to
give to students.
Our participants ages ranged from 13-18
We were able to survey 57 students, 26
girls, 31 boys
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G. Dilemma
Circle:
male
female
Age: _____
A man’s wife was near death from a special kind of cancer. There
was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. The drug was
expensive to make, and the druggist was charging ten times what
the drug cost him to make. He paid $400 for the drug and charged
$4,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband,
Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried
every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000,
which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was
dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the
druggist said, "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make
money from it." So, having tried every legal means, Heinz gets
desperate and considers breaking into the man's store to steal the
drug for his wife.
Should Heinz steal the drug? Why or Why not?
Is it right or wrong for him to steal the drug? Why or Why not?
What if the person dying is not his wife but a stranger. Should
Heinz steal the drug for the stranger? Why or why not?
Should people try to do everything they can to obey the law?
Why or why not?
What would you do if you were Heinz, and why?
Analyzing Results
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G. Rating System
Points are given based on the child’s response to why or why not Heinz should
steal the drug.
1 point is given if the child’s reasoning in their response is based upon:
A. Consequences/ Punishment
Ex: Heinz should not steal the drug because he will be arrested.
B. Authority does/ does not permit it
Ex: Heinz should not steal the drug because it is against the law.
2 points given if the child’s reasoning is based upon:
Pursuing one’s individual interests (what is beneficial to you alone)
Ex: Heinz should not steal it because he would rather not be in prison for a long time.
The druggist was unfair so Heinz can be act unfair in return and steal the drug.
3 points given if the child’s reasoning involves:
Motives or character traits
Ex: The druggist is greedy so it is okay for Heinz to steal the drug.
-Heinz loves his wife and can’t see her die so it is okay for him to steal the drug.
4 points given if the child’s reasoning concerns:
Society as a whole
Ex: Heinz’s intentions are good but he cannot break the law because he feels it is the
right thing to do.
5 points given if the response emphasizes both:
A. The Social Contract
Ex: Emphasis that unfair laws should be changed to benefit society.
B. Individual Rights
Ex: Life is more valuable then property.
Results: Male
Stages
1
2
3
4
5
13
1
2
4
1
16
1
1
8
3
4
17
1
1
2
1
1
Ages
18
Total: 3
1
3
14
6
5
Female Results
Stages
13
Ages
1
2
3
4
1
1
4
2
14
2
16
3
17
Total:
5
1
4
6
3
2
1
1
14
3
4
Final Results
14
12
10
8
Female
Male
6
4
2
0
Stage Stage Stage Stage Stage
1
2
3
4
5
Conclusions
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Our hypothesis was incorrect
Slightly more males in stages 4 and 5, but
overall barely any difference.
Same amounts of boys and girls in Stage 3
Overall, females did not score lower than males.
Also, since equal numbers of male and females
fell into stage 3, we were unable to conclude if
men gravitate towards the justice approach;
woman towards the care approach.
Problems
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We wanted to replicate the ages Kohlberg used in his
study, but we could not survey any 10 year olds.
 Then, had to modify hypothesis.
Some students did not take survey seriously.
 Ex: Q: What would you do if you were Heinz?
 A: “If I were Heinz I would create Heinz Ketchup and
make millions and buy the store.”
We were not present to administer survey
Problems identifying which stage the person was in