Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development | Special Interest's EQ

I'll refer to this moral development scale in rating special interests:
"If you have an understanding of the normal stages of moral development, it should help you to develop or improve upon your own morals or values. This is especially true if the characteristics of highly moral people are clearly described. The following six stages are taken mostly from Piaget (1932), Kohlberg (1975), and Rosen (1980)."

The Motto: "Might makes right"
A young child decides what to do--what is right--according to what he/shewants to do and can do without getting into trouble. To be right, you must be obedient to the people in power and, thus, avoid punishment.
Moral Development: Stage1
  • Respects power
  • Fears punishment
Moral age: Child 1 to 5 years old

The Motto: "What's in it for me?"
Self-serving, they tend to lack respect for the rights of others but may give to others on the assumption that they will get as much or more in return. It is more a matter of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," instead of loyalty, gratitude, or justice.
Moral Development: Stage 2
  • Looking out for #1
Moral Age: Child aged 5 to 10 years

Motto: "I want to be nice."
People at this stage have shifted from pleasing themselves to pleasing important others, often parents, teachers, or friends. They seek approval and conform to someone else's expectations. When they are accused of doing something wrong, their behavior is likely to be justified by saying "everyone else is doing it" or "I didn't intend to hurt anyone."
Moral Development: Stage 3
  • Being a "Good Boy" or "Nice Girl."
Moral Age: Child 8~16 years old

The Motto: "I'll do my duty."
The majority of people 16 years old and older have internalized society's rules about how to behave. They feel obligated to conform, not any longer to just family and friends, but also to society's laws and customs. They see it as important to do one's duty to maintain social order. Leaders are assumed to be right; individuals adopt social rules without considering the underlying ethical principles involved. Social control is, therefore, exercised through guilt associated with breaking a rule; the guilt in this case is an automatic emotional response, not a rational reaction of conscience based on moral principles (as in stage 6). People at this stage believe that anyone breaking the rules deserves to be punished and "pay their debt to society.
Moral Development: Stage 4
  • Law and order thinking
Moral age: Young adults 16 years or over

The Motto: "I'll live by the rules or try to change them."
People at this stage recognize the underlying moral purposes that are supposed to be served by laws and social customs; thus, if a law ceases to serve a good purpose, they feel the people in a democracy should get active and change the law. Thought of in his way, democracy becomes a social contract whereby everyone tries continually to create a set of laws that best serves the most people, while protecting the basic rights of everyone. There is respect for the law and a sense of obligation to live by the rules, as long as they were established in a fair manner and fulfill an ethical purpose. Only about 20-25% of today's adults ever reach this stage and most of those that do supposedly only get there after their mid-twenties.

Moral Development: Stage 5
  • Justice through democracy
  • Use judgment to gage fairness and ethic
Moral Age: Adult

The Motto: "I'm true to my values."
These rather rare people have considered many values and have decided on a philosophy of life that truly guides their life. They do not automatically conform to tradition or others' beliefs or even to their own emotions,intuition, or impulsive notions about right and wrong. They carefully choose basic principles to follow, such as caring for and respecting every living thing, feeling that we are all equal and deserve equal opportunities, or,stated differently, the Golden Rule. They are strong enough to act on their values even if others may think they are odd or if their beliefs are against the law, such as refusing to fight in a war.
Moral Development: Stage 6
  • The Golden Rule
  • Makes judgments based on basic moral principles
Moral Age: Wise Adult

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development | Special Interest's EQ


Anonymous said...

I thought this was very interesting,thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Wow you're making so much sense :) love a smarter person talking about how retarted it all fits together. if people only learned ne~
According to you're compas i was a "wise adult" before i even hit my adoscolent years, im proud of me now Thank you for the compliment i guess :D
Greets and love-

Anonymous said...

Ramon, it is possible that you are simply not fluent in English, so if that is the case please disregard the following.

I find it difficult to believe you were a wise adult before your adolescent years if you can't even grasp simple aspects of language. I couldn't even read some of your sentences, rather I had to piece them together off of assumptions and reasoning.

As for the post itself, I found it very interesting. I have often rated people on "stages" of intellectual thought; this list was a great representation of that.

Anonymous said...

language has nothing to do with morality

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