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Flashcards in Moral Development Deck (36):

Which two researchers proposed the most influential theories of moral development?

Kohlberg & Piaget


What are the two levels in Piaget's theory of moral development called?

Heteronomous morality & autonomous morality


What is the age range for heteronomous morality?

Ages 4 to 7


Describe heteronomous morality

Also called morality of constraint; children view rules as absolute & unchangeable & believe in imminent justice (i.e., violations of rules inevitably lead to punishment)


When judging damaging acts in heteronomous morality stage, on what are children's judgments based?

Based on damaging act's consequences, i.e., more negative the consequences, the worse the act


According to Piaget, on what is heteronomous (inflexible moral reasoning) based?

Due to combination of preoperational egocentrism & constraint of parental authority


When do children shift morality levels, i.e., from heteronomous to autonomous? At what age-ish? What is believed to be the "cause(s) of" this shift?

By age 7 or 8; due to a decline in egocentrism, social interactions w/peers, & gradual release from adult vigilance & constraint


Autonomous morality is also known as...

Morality of reciprocity


How is autonomous morality described?

Rules recognized as being determined by agreement between individuals & as result, alterable


How do children judge damaging acts in autonomous morality?

They consider the intentions of the actor to be most important.


Piaget's interest in children's understanding and use of deception at various ages

Under age 6 = usually equates lies w/things they are not supposed to say, i.e., lies similar to "dirty words"
Between ages 6-10 = label any untrue statement as a "lie"
By age 11 = understand that only a intentionally false statement is a lie


At what age did Piaget believe children started intentionally lying? What has more recent research found?

About age 7; recent studies suggest children as young as 3-4 intentionally lie to avoid punishment or embarrassment


Overview of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development; how did he study morality?

3 levels = (1) preconventional, (2) conventional, (3) post-conventional

Within each level there are 2 stages =
Stage 1 - Punishment & obedience orientation
Stage 2 - Instrumental hedonistic orientation
Stage 3 - "Good boy-good girl" (social relations) orientation
Stage 4 - Authority & social order-maintaining orientation
Stage 5 - Social contract & individual rights orientation
Stage 6 - Universal ethical principles orientation

Presented subjects w/hypothetical moral dilemma & asked them what though person described should do


What is morality based on at preconventional level?

Morality based on consequences of the act; bxs that are punished = "bad" & bxs that are rewarded = "good"


Focus of Stage 1 =

Avoiding punishment when making moral judgments


Focus of Stage 2 =

That which satisfies their own needs as moral


What guides morality at the conventional level?

The desire to maintain existing social laws, rules, norms


Focus of Stage 3 =

Individual is oriented toward maintaining approval of relatives & friends


Focus of Stage 4 =

Person's orientation is toward obeying society's laws & rules


How do individuals at post-conventional level define morality?

In terms of self-chosen principles


What is person in Stage 5's orientation?

Toward upholding democratically-determined laws but recognizes that laws can be ignored or changed for a valid reason


What does morality reflect in Stage 6?

Morality reflects fundamental universal ethical principles (especially justice & fairness) that transcend legal standards


Is there a one-to-one correspondence between age and level of moral reasoning?

No, but in general, transition between preconventional & conventional occurs between ages 10-13, while transition between conventional and post-conventional occurs in mid-adolesscence to later, if it occurs at all


What are a few of the key assumptions underlying Kohlberg's theory?

(1) Invariant sequence of stages, though Stages 5 & 6 are not reached by most people
(2) Moral development is an outgrowth of cognitive development, i.e., occurs as result of cognitive disequilibrium or noticing that one's current moral reasoning doesn't fully account for reality
(3) Each stage represents an organized whole, i.e., during each Stage, person applies distinct pattern of moral reasoning to a wide variety of situations


Do Kohlberg's stages relate more to moral reasoning that to moral conduct?

Yes, as a low correlation between moral development and actual behavior has been found; he didn't believe there was a direct correlation between the two; however, thought that the higher the stage of moral reasoning, the stronger the relationship between reasoning and behavior


Does cognitive growth on its own guarantee that a person will progress through the stages? Do other factors have an effect on moral development?

No and yes


What are some other factors that can affect moral development?

Social perspective-taking (ability to understand the perspective of others), parents' childrearing practices, peer interactions, and formal education


Who criticized Kohlberg's theory, believing that it had a "male bias"?

Gilligan; she believed that it emphasized principles of justice & fairness and, therefore, showed a male bias b/c males are more likely to refer to these principles when making moral judgments


What did Gilligan believe that women were more likely to refer to when making moral judgments?

Interpersonal connectedness and care


Has the research generally supported Gilligan's claims?

No; studies has shown there are no consistent differences between males & females in terms of moral orientation (justice versus care) & that males & females both progress through same stages of moral development


Has research shown that children develop higher levels of conscience when parents rely on love-oriented discipline methods like praise, social isolation, & withdrawal of affection as opposed to object-oriented techniques like tangible rewards, physical punishment, or withdrawal of material objects or privileges?

No, recent research indicates relationship between type of discipline & development of conscience may be more complex than previously thought


Kochanska found that for the development of conscience, the most effective form of discipline depended on the child's temperament. More specifically...

Toddlers w/fearful temperament develop conscience better when gentle discipline that deemphasizes power and capitalizes on child's internal discomfort, than when parent uses negative discipline based on power, threats, or angry commands.


What did Hoffman propose regarding gentle discipline and conscience development?

It elicits an optimal level of arousal in child which facilitates semantic processing of parent's message that can then become internalized


Was gentle discipline effective in promoting conscience in fearless toddlers?

No; they didn't respond with internal discomfort when presented with gentle discipline after bx transgressions


Why does Kochanska believe gentle discipline doesn't work with fearless toddlers?

May be due to insufficient level of arousal among fearless children in response to gentle discipline


What does Kochanska propose as the best way to promote conscience in fearless children?

Through use of a secure attachment and maternal responsiveness which promotes child's cooperation based on positive motivation in relationship rather than anxiety over consequences of misbehavior