Moral Development - University of Puget Sound

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Moral Development
Moral Development
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What is it?
Changes in the child’s:
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Ability to distinguish right from wrong
The ability to act on this distinction
Components of Morality
 Moral
Affect
 Emotional
component- motivation
Positive outcome (pride)
 Negative outcome (guilt, shame,
embarrassment)
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Components of Morality (cont.)
 Moral
Reasoning (cognition)
 Thought
processes used for
decisions
 ↑ age, ↑ thoughts of right/wrong
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Cog Dev Resist temptation
Components of Morality (cont)
 Moral
Behavior
 Behaving
consistently with beliefs
Gradual cookie from Jar?
 Influenced by:
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 Right/wrong
 Practicing inhibition of neg. impulses
Theories of Moral Development
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Evolutionary/Biological
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Benefits of pro-social & altruistic behavior
Piagetian Cog-Dev approach
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Cog dev. Is the foundation of moral dev
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Cog growth + social exp. = moral development
Both help understand rules, laws, & obligations
Piagetian stages
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Cookie jar and cups
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Premoral (3-4 yrs)
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Little awareness of rules/make up own
Inconsistent response
Heteronomous (5-10 yrs)
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Moral absolutes- Strong respect for rules (parents, God,
Law)
Consequences stronger than intent (15 cups is naughtier)
Punishment- spanking/go to room (not pay for cups)
E.g. Speeding with a 6 year old?
Piagetian stages
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Autonomous (10-11 yrs)-moral dev complete
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Social rules are more arbitrary
Attempted cookie theft is naughtier –due to intent
Reciprocal judgment- punishment fits crime
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The “golden rule”
Clean up mess or no cookies for a week.
Kohlberg’s Theory (1963)
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Refinement of Piaget
Cognitive development not enough
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Exposure to moral conflicts (grey areas)
Heinz Dilemma
In Europe, a woman was near death (cancer). One drug
might save her life, but it was rare, and hard to obtain. A
local pharmacist had the drug (which cost $200 to
produce) and was selling it for $2000 for a dose that
might save the woman’s life. Her husband was able to
scrounge $1000 by borrowing from friends, but could
not scrape up rest of the money. The druggist refused
to sell the husband the drug at that price, or to accept a
payment plan. The husband then broke into the drug
store and stole the medicine.
 SHOULD THE HUSBAND HAVE DONE THAT?
 WHY?/WHY NOT?
Kohlberg’s Theory
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Rationale for answers
Self-serving (pro-theft)
Obedience (anti-theft)
Kohlberg’s Theory
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Level 1- Pre-conventional
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Rules external to self (have to follow them)
What is right is what I can get away with or what satisfies
me
Stage 1- Punishment and obedience- It’s wrong because
I’ll get punished
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Morality is based on consequence
 Obey mostly to avoid punishment
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Stage 2- Rewards- It’s wrong if I get caught
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Conforms to gain reward
“It’s Heinz’s life he’s risking, he can do it if he wants”
“He’ll probably get caught, so it’s too much risk”
Altruism (due to benefits- what’s in it for me)
Kohlberg’s Theory
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Level 2- Conventional
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Goal is to obey rules- for approval or “because you’re
supposed to”- Promotes societal order
Stage 3- Good boy/good girl- It’s wrong when others
disapprove
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Goal is to be thought of as a good person
Basis is person’s intent
Stage 4- Maintenance of social order- “It’s wrong because
it’s illegal”
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Everyone is equal
Right is determined by legal authority
Rules & laws are good things (to keep public order)
Kohlberg’s Theory
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Post-conventional
Right/wrong based on broader/abstract terms (principles
of justice)
Morally right ≠ legally right
Stage 5- Social contract- “It’s wrong because the
majority dictate it to be”- Our government
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Laws may be bad
Social contracts if represent the will of the majority
Stage 6- Individual but universal ethical principles- “it’s
wrong because it is detrimental to people”- MLK
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Right/wrong based on self-chosen values
Universal justice- Equal consideration for all
Heinz example
What Influences Moral Development?
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IQ
Social Dev (empathy, thinking of others?)
Parenting style (emphasizes personal
responsibility)
Sibling behavior (models)
Religion
Culture
Personality (impulsiveness, open-mindedness)
Peers (need for approval)
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