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CH7 MORAL DEVELOPMENT, VALUES, AND RELIGION Moral development – involves thoughts, behaviors, and feelings regarding standards of right and wrong o Intrapersonal dimension – a person’s basic values and sense of self o Interpersonal dimension – a focus on what people should do in their interactions with others Moral thought o How do adolescents think about standards of right and wrong? o Lawrence Kohlberg – proposed that moral development is based on moral reasoning and unfolds in a series of stages = uses Piaget’s theories as backbone o Research type = interviews with individuals of different ages presented with series of stories dealing with moral dilemma o 3 levels, each characterized by 2 stages o Progression makes morality more internal/mature. Their reasons for moral decision/values begin to go beyond external/superficial reasons. o Lvl 1: Preconventional reasoning = punishment and obedience orientation; individualism, instrumental purpose, and exchange. Stage 1: punishment and obedience orientation = moral thinking tied to punishment. Ex: Adolescents obey adults because adults tell them to obey Stage 2: individualism, instrumental purpose, and exchange = individuals pursue own interests but let others do the same. What is right involves an equal exchange. Ex: “What’s in it for me?” o Lvl 2: Conventional reasoning = individuals abide by certain standards (internal) but they are the standards of others (external); parents and laws. Stage 3: mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships, and interpersonal conformity = individuals value trust, caring, and loyalty to others as basis of moral judgments. Ex: Adopting parents’ moral standards = “good girl/boy” Stage 4: social systems morality = moral judgments based on understanding social order, law, justice, and duty. Ex: Society needs to be protected by laws that are adhered to by its members. o Lvl 3: Postconventional reasoning = morality more internal; individual recognizes alternative moral courses, explore options, and decide on personal moral code. Stage 5: social contract or utility and individual rights = individuals reason that values, rights, and principles undergird or transcend the law. Ex: evaluating the validity of laws and preserve and protect fundamental human rights/values. Stage 6: universal ethical principles = individual has developed a moral standard based on universal human rights
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Ex: When faced with conflict between law and conscience, the person will follow conscience, even though the decision might involve personal risk. o o Criticism: the moral stages appeared later than Kohlberg initially envisioned + higher stages (stage 6) is extremely exclusive (rare) o Influences: moral thought can be moved to a higher level through exposure to models/discussions (social experiences) that is more advanced than the adolescent’s level Peer interaction = critical part of social stimulation that challenges
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