6 stages of critical thinking
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Jump to navigation Jump to search Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development constitute an adaptation of a psychological theory originally conceived by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. The theory holds that moral reasoning, the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental stages, each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor. The six stages of moral development 6 stages of critical thinking grouped into three levels of morality: pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional morality.
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For his studies, Kohlberg relied on stories such as the Heinz dilemma, and was interested in how individuals would justify their actions if placed in similar moral dilemmas. He then analyzed the form of moral reasoning displayed, rather than its conclusion, and classified it as belonging to one of six distinct stages. There have been critiques of the theory from several perspectives. Nevertheless, an entirely new field within psychology was created as a direct result of Kohlberg’s theory, and according to Haggbloom et al.
20th century, Kohlberg was the 16th most frequently cited in introductory psychology textbooks throughout the century, as well as the 30th most eminent overall. Kohlberg’s scale is about how people justify behaviors and his stages are not a method of ranking how moral someone’s behavior is. There should, however, be a correlation between how someone scores on the scale and how they behave, and the general hypothesis is that moral behaviour is more responsible, consistent and predictable from people at higher levels. Kohlberg’s six stages can be more generally grouped into three levels of two stages each: pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional. The pre-conventional level of moral reasoning is especially common in children, although adults can also exhibit this level of reasoning. Reasoners at this level judge the morality of an action by its direct consequences. The pre-conventional level consists of the first and second stages of moral development and is solely concerned with the self in an egocentric manner.
For example, an action is perceived as morally wrong because the perpetrator is punished. The last time I did that I got spanked, so I will not do it again. The worse the punishment for the act is, the more «bad» the act is perceived to be. An example of obedience and punishment driven morality would be a child refusing to do something because it is wrong and that the consequences could result in punishment. For example, a child’s classmate tries to dare the child to skip school. The child would apply obedience and punishment driven morality by refusing to skip school because he would get punished.
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