Saturday, December 10, 2016

6 Stages of Moral Reasoning

The key outcome of socialization is the development of children's attitudes and beliefs. Lawrence Kohlberg who was an American psychologist outlined six stages of moral reasoning. His research showed parent's strategy for providing discipline and guidance to children, influence moral development. His research suggests parents can promote internalized moral standards by encouraging children to delay gratification and by setting high standards of moral behavior through warm and nurturing discipline strategies. The types of strategies parents use influence the child's motivation.

Kohlberg's six stages of moral development are: 1- obedience and punishment orientation. An example of this is when an individual does good in order to avoid punishment and if they are punished the thought that they did wrong. 2- Individualism and exchange- this is when children recognize there is no one right view and that people have different view points. 3- Good interpersonal relationships-this is when children realize it's good to be seen as good by others and answers to questions will relate to obtaining the approval of others. 4- maintaining social order- this is when a child is aware of the wider rules of society and concerns are about obeying the rules to uphold the law and to avoid guilt. 5- social contract and individual right- this is when children are aware that rules exist for the greater number but that there are times when that concept works against individuals and understand that why that happens is not clear. 6- Universal principles- this is when people have developed their own set of moral guidelines and these principles to them apply to everyone and the person is prepared to defend their principles even if it means going against society and paying the consequence for doing so.

These stages of moral reasoning help children think for themselves and decide what they think is the right thing to do in any given social situation. If parents tell children what the right thing to do is in any given social situation a child may not progress through all of these moral stages and may not develop any sense of morality.

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