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Discuss Kohlberg's theory of Moral Development, use psychological evidence and refer to at least one other theory in your answer.

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  • Essay length: 1057 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
  • Reviewed by: (?) sydneyhopcroft
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University Degree Religion in Society

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The first 200 words of this essay...

Discuss Kohlberg's theory of Moral Development, use psychological evidence and refer to at least one other theory in your answer

Moral development in psychology is the study of how we form beliefs and acquire knowledge to determine what is wrong or right. It is also a study of how we apply these beliefs to our actions. Kohlberg is a prominent figure in moral development, his main focus in his investigation in to moral development was on our reasoning behind moral judgement rather than the judgments made. He believed that we develop moral reasoning during childhood and adolescence; it is not something we acquire in one big step.

Like Piaget, Kohlberg chose to investigate the reasoning behind moral development, by using moral dilemmas. Kohlberg carried out a study with group of males, some of which he followed up 3 times over 20 years. He gave them a moral dilemma and questions designed by Heinz. Heinz's story stated that a man's wife was suffering from a rare illness, her only chance of survival was this one particular type of drug that the man could not afford and the chemist would not let him have it cheaper or

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Review of essay

Reviewed by: sydneyhopcroft

Rating: 5 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay asks candidates to describe in detail Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development in Children, and then discuss (evaluate) the strengths and weaknesses, whilst referring to a second theory of development. The candidate retains consistent focus on the description and the analysis of their answer, and as is expected, the candidate draws on many different sources and other pieces of research while answering their question. Instead of just one other theory, the candidate refers to at least two others, with a possible third is we include their comment on Rest, though an examiner may point out that Rest's study would require a few lines dedication just to colour in what he actually did, rather than just name-dropping him.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is very good. The introductory paragraph is excellent and right there and then we see the candidate has a well-established understanding of the basis of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development in Children and the study he conducted in order to retrieve this data. There is mentioning of it being cross-culturally replicated, but perhaps an explicit statement about this being a strength as the high concordance with each repeat of the experiment showed the results' reliability could give the candidate's answer further good points.
After the description of the study, there is an extremely well-detailed paragraph outlining the Theory, using the specialist terminology coined by Kohlberg himself such as "Obedience and Punishment" and "Post-conventional Morality", with brilliant examples of how a person operating at each level might view the Heinz Dilemma (the most famous moral dilemma that Kohlberg proposed to his participants).
The appreciation of other theories is very good - the second theory does not have to be so in depth as your first. The use of Gilligan's theory is good because it directly challenged Kohlberg even after she worked with him in developing his moral scale which she believed only pertained to males.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fine. There are no worries or issues to be commented upon in this answer. It is very well-written, well-structured and well-informed.

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