Application of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
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Application of Moral Development 1 Application of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development: A Situational Illustration Aleisha Green PSY/LDR 301 Adult Development and Life Assessment Dr. Natalie L. Petouhoff 1 November, 2004 App. of Moral Development 2 Application of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development: A Situational Illustration Lawrence Kohlberg, philosopher of morality, theorizes that human beings develop morals in stages, progressing consecutively from one stage to the next in an invariant sequence (Bee, 2004, p.314). His model consists of three levels and a total of six stages (Bee, 2004, p.314). These stages are extremely accurate, as well as useful, in understanding others' behavior and what motivates such behavior when applied to practical, real life situations. I have personally found this to be true as it has served as my beacon in the dark over the last two weeks or so while "testing the theory" in within my own life's circumstances and interactions with others. Having such an invaluable tool can give one the upper hand in dealing with and manipulating potentially unproductive situations from a moral standpoint. It is very important to acknowledge that all people are not necessarily at the same place and/or stage in their moral development.
This did not make for any plausible nor productive results. It was over. All of my work (and late assignments to BPE) were in vain! Until one fine day, I met Kohlberg by way of Bee and Bjorkland. Upon learning about his theory, I came to a revelation: The ladies with whom I was previously upset were in fact NOT selfish and inconsiderate and slack after all! We were simply bound initially by a common interest, but the intensity in which we personally experienced that interest varied based upon our own current stage in our moral development. Wow! What an eye-opener, right? And it did just that. Because our designated leader was more or less "on sabbatical", if you will, I took the liberty of naming myself "acting captain" and re-dispersing the assigned tasks among the remaining members (to my best ability) according to Kohlberg's model. For example, as Bee suggests in Table 10.1 on p. 316, stage II consists of one acting according to his/her own best interests, naïve hedonism. One of the younger ladies (around my age, actually) never really seemed to be as submerged in what we were trying to do as the rest of us, though she did complete the duties given to her, slowly.
of Moral Development 6 horrid state, and what it will take to change it and to stress to potential non -voters that it is their duty and obligation to vote. Once this was pointed out to the rest of the group, it dawned on me that this would be considered stage V according to Kohlberg (Bee, 2004, p.317) and that the common bond among the majority of us was more than just our intensity, but our shared stage of moral development as well. Once this was discussed amongst us in detail, our attitudes simultaneously fell in sync, and we all agreed that regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, we are all content with our own personal sacrifice and contribution. Once again, Kohlberg's theory of moral development proves to be of great value when applied to real life situations, and can make the difference in settling for the given circumstances as opposed to changing them as well as improving them. All that is needed is for such a change to occur is a working knowledge and the presence of mind to apply this knowledge as a situation arises. Most importantly, if this practical application is utilized often enough, one could ultimately become empowered not only to make changes and improvements within specific situations, but within all aspects of their lives as well. App.
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