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Running head: KOHLBERG’S MORAL DEVELOPMENT 1Kohlberg’s Moral DevelopmentPSYCH/600August 2, 2015Vicki KoenigKohlberg’s Moral DevelopmentIntroduction
KOHLBERG’S MORAL DEVELOPMENTLawrence Kohlberg conducted research on the moral development of children in an effortto understand how they develop a sense of right or wrong and how justice is served. Through his studies, Kohlberg observed that moral growth and development proceeds through stages such as those of Piaget's stages of cognitive development. He theorized that moral growth begins at the beginning of life and continues until the day one dies and that people proceed through each stageof moral development consecutively without skipping or going back to a previous stage. This paper will further explain Kohlberg’s moral development theory, provide three contributions Kohlberg made to our understanding of moral development, explain three limitations to the theory, and will highlight who Carol Gilligan is as well as what her research says about possible gender differences in moral reasoning.Summary of Kohlberg’s TheoryLawrence Kohlberg believed that people progressed in their moral understanding througha series of stages. “Kohlberg organized moral development into three levels, each with two stages, yielding six stages in all. He believed that moral understanding is promoted by the same factors Piaget thought were important for cognitive development: (1) actively grappling with moral issues and noticing weaknesses in one’s current reasoning, and (2) gains in perspective taking, which permit individuals to resolve moral conflicts in more effective ways” (Berk, 2010).The first level is the pre-conventional level. This contains stage one of obedience and punishment as well as stage two of individuality. During stage one; a child tends to concentrate on fright of power and dodging of punishment for cause to behave ethically. During stage two, children begin to realize that people are able to have different viewpoints in a moral predicament.