Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

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Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

Kohlberg’s (1973) stages of moral development is the most widely cited. It breaks our development of morality into three levels, each of which is divided further into two stages:

Preconventional Level (up to age 10):

     ~Self Focused Morality~ That which satisfies the child’s needs is seen as good and moral.

Conventional Level (age 10 to adolescence):

     ~Other Focused Morality~ Fulfilling obligations as well as following expectations are seen as moral law for children in this stage.

Postconventional Level (adulthood):

     ~Higher Focused Morality~ Morality is seen as upholding the values of your group or culture. Understanding your own personal beliefs allow adults to judge themselves and others based upon higher levels of morality.

1. During a class debate on the issue of whether war is ever justified, Dominique argued that it is never justified because war involves killing people and killing people is against the law.

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

2. Mark stole a bar of chocolate from a convenience store when he was very hungry. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong since no one noticed him stealing. Mark is probably in which of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

3. Six stages of moral development were proposed by _____

A) Martin Hoffman.

B) Jean Piaget.

C) Sigmund Freud.

D) Lawrence Kohlberg.

4. Why do you think going to high school is associated with a dramatic change in moral reasoning?

A) there is more opportunity for sexual exploitation.

B) parental supervision is nullified.

C) peer pressure to violate community standards is high.

D) discussions reveal the variety of moral beliefs.

5. An individual who states that Heinz should not steal the drug because laws must

be obeyed or chaos would ensue throughout society is reasoning at which level of moral

reasoning according to Kohlberg?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

6. At what stage of moral development is an athlete who takes illegal performance-enhancing drugs and defends his or her actions by the premise that it is OK because everyone does?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

7. Sandy is tempted to steal some money. She thinks that she can probably do it without getting caught, but then she realizes that this is a violation of the Ten Commandments, and so she decides not to steal it. At what stage is Sandy reasoning?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

8. Rob sees a bully picking on a little kid. He tells the bully to leave the little kid alone, because little kids have rights just like everyone else, and it's not fair for people to push people around just because they are smaller. At what stage is Rob reasoning?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

9. Tony is trying to select a candidate to vote for in the election. He notices that the candidate favors permitting federal funds to be used for abortions. Tony disagrees with this position, because he feels that life is sacred from the moment of conception. At what stage is Tony reasoning?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

10. Harold is trying to select a candidate to vote for in the election. He notices that the candidate opposes permitting federal funds to be used for abortions. Harold disagrees with this position, because he feels that it is wrong for people to impose on other people their own beliefs regarding issues on which there is legitimate disagreement. At what stage is Harold reasoning?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

11. Mike makes fun of a handicapped child having trouble with his studies in school. He reasons that it is OK to do this, because it will impress the other kids, and he wants them to think he is a neat kid. At what stage is Mike reasoning?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

12. Bob says he doesn't want to skip school because it just isn't the right thing to do. At which of Kohlberg's levels of moral development would he be?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

13. Jenni says she doesn't want to skip school because she knows she will be punished. At which of Kohlberg's levels of moral development would she be?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

14. Joe says he doesn't want to skip school because it's against the rules. At which of Kohlberg's levels of moral development would he be?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

15. Delbert resists stealing cookies from the cookie jar because he is afraid his mother will punish him if he does. At which of Kohlberg's levels of moral development would he be?

(A) Preconventional level

(B) Conventional level

(C) Postconventional level

(D) None of the above

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