Kohlberg moral development | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy
- Articles, Blog

Kohlberg moral development | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy

Voiceover: Let’s take a
look at Laurence Kohlberg. So Laurence Kohlberg developed the moral
theory of development. Now, this is much different than the other three theorists that we talked about
earlier, but at the same time, his theory was based upon
cognitive development, so that’s how it was similar
to Vygotsky’s. However, he looked at how people developed
their morals, versus their overall development, emotional, physical
development throughout life. So, Kohlberg hoped to discover the ways in which moral reasoning changed as people
grew. So the way he actually did this is
interesting. He looked at children, which is, pretty
common among all of the other theorists we talked about,
Vygotsky, Freud, and Erickson. They all looked at children cuz obviously
that’s where a lot of the most fascinating development in growth occurs
in rapid growth occurs, is during that adolescent
period. So what Kohlberg did is he told a bunch of
children, many dilemma story situations. So he told these stories to children of
all ages and he asked many questions to discover how people how people reasoned through these moral
issues. So the most famous dilemma situation was
that of Mr. Heinz, some man in Europe. And I’m just gonna narrate this story quickly because it’s a pretty famous
situation. So, this is how the story goes. Heinz’s wife is dying from a particular
type of cancer. Doctors said a new drug might save her,
and the drug had been discovered by a local chemist, and
Heinz tried desperately to buy some. But the chemist was charging ten times the
money it cost to make the drug, and this was way more than
Heinz could afford. So, Heinz could only raise half the money even after help from his family and
friends. So he explained to the chemist that his
wife was dying and begged and asked her if he
could have the drug for cheaper or at least pay the money that he still owed at a later
time. But the chemist refused. He said that the drug he discovered was
going to be very profitable. So Mr. Heinz was desperate to save his
wife. So later that night, he broke into the
chemist’s office, and stole the drug. So this was the most famous dilemma. And it’s called the Heinz Dilemma. And after he told this story to the
children, Kohlberg asked them a series of questions, like should
Heinz have stolen the drug? Would it change anything is Heinz did not
love his wife? What if the person dying was a stranger,
would it make a difference? And should the police arrest the chemist
for murder if the woman died? So after compiling and analyzing all of
the responses that the children gave Kohlberg analyzed three distinct
levels, of moral reasoning. So the first of these is the
pre-conventional or the pre-moral stage. The second is the conventional stage. And the last is the post-conventional
stage. So I’ve set this up kind of like a ladder. I guess it looks more like a bunch of steps, but think of this as the ladder of
morality. So, Kohlberg said that people can only pass through these levels in the order
listed. So first have to go through these then
this, then this. And each new stage replaces the reasoning
typical of the earlier stage. And he also said that not everyone
achieves the last stage. So the first level actually before I go
on, each of these levels was then further split
into two levels. So altogether there are six stages of
morality development. So the first pre-moral stage. Had the first level. So the first level is obedience versus
punishment. So, obviously this level deals with
children, people of a younger age. So at this basic level, authority is
outside the individual, and reasoning is based on
physical consequences of actions. So children see rules as fixed and
absolute. So obeying the rules is a means to avoid
punishment. So if the child is good, they’re going to
avoid being punished by their parent. And if they are punished, that means they
must have done something wrong. Now the second stage in this is called
individualism and exchange. So, let me write that out. And in this stage basically, children
recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed
down by the authorities. So they start to understand that different
individuals have different viewpoints. So after we pass through these two stages
we can move up the ladder this way into the
conventional stage. And at the conventional stage, there are
two more steps. So, we can do this as step three. So at this stage, authority is internalized, but not questioned, and
reasoning is based on the norm of the group to which
the person belongs. So stage three is all about good boy. And good girl. Sounds kinda funny. Not versus, but good boy and good girl. So what I mean by this is that the child
or the individual is good in order to be seen as being good
by other people. So now they’re taking it to other people’s
thoughts into account. So there’s an emphasis on conformity. So being nice and having that
consideration of how choices influence our relationships
is important. The fourth stage of morality is
maintaining social order. So law and order. And here the child becomes aware of the
wider rules of society. So judgements, concern, obeying rules in
order to uphold the law and to avoid guilt. Its all about what society says at this
point. So once we’re past that, we can move on
even further into stage three, which is split down further into
stages five and six. So here, at stage five we have the social
contract. So, in the post-conventional phase, or
stage, individual judgement is based on
self-chosen principles. So we’re beyond law and order. We’re thinking at an even higher level,
and we’re having higher moral reasoning. It’s based more on individual rights and
justice for the greater good. So in the social contract step, the
individual becomes aware that even though rules and laws exist for
the good of the greater number of people, there are
times that this law in order still may work against the
interest of particular people. So the issues aren’t always clear cut. So for example in Heinz’s dilemma, was the
protection of life more important than breaking the
law against stealing? Well according to people that reach this
level level five of the social contract. Yes, the protection of life is more important then breaking the law and
stealing. Which is down here at level four. So the rules of law are important for
maintaining society, but members that reach this
level, realize that society should also agree upon these standards and
that sometimes the law must be broken to uphold these
higher morals. And the sixth step, the last step, of
moral reasoning according to Kohlberg, is based on the universal,
ethical principle. So over here people at this stage develop
their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not
fit the law. So the principles apply to everyone such
as human rights, justice, and equality. And the person who upholds and believes in
this wholeheartedly, has to be prepared to act and defend these
principles. Even if it means going against the rest of
society in the process. And even if they have to obey consequences
of disapproval or imprisonment. And Kohlberg believed that very few people
reach this stage. So, actually can you think of a few people in history, famous people that have
reached this stage? I would think that Gandhi was one person
that reached that stage. How many times was he put into prison? What about Nelson Mandela, or even Martin
Luther King? There are so many people, that believed in
these universal rights of equality for all people, even if it went
against the law and order of the society at that time, they still upheld
this and they were prepared to have to pay the consequences that the law would put
against them, the restraints. So they’re the ones who had the highest
level of morality according to Kohlberg

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “Kohlberg moral development | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy

  1. Good grief. This woman has an awful voice. She also cannot present – Too repetitive. I'm sure it was a great story, I'll never know.

  2. i literally listed the three rebels in that exact order when u asked if we could think of someone in history who achieved that level omg

  3. Having this on the background while taking a break from studying takes away the guilt while also reinforcing what I'm supposed to be doing.. It's a great resource to add to revision!

  4. This is the worst video Khan Academy has posted. I love Khan Academy, but the audio is terrible and needs to be redone.

  5. No women at level 6? You should have thought about some! (maybe Peter Singer too, about animalism). I LOVE your videos, I just subscribed!

  6. example of sixth stage . . Itachi uchiha . . from Naruto series . . who murdered his own . .whole clan . . so that . . his village can Prosper.

  7. Martin Shkreli  

  8. we appreciate the video, really, but please get straight to the point without the 1 minute intro. Most of us are watching on 2x speed and cramming for exams and whatnot.

  9. Hmmmmm…. so stage 6 is for folks like the Bat, Venom, Frank Castle, and other lethal heroes. For real people, Adolf Hitler, Malcom X, etc

  10. No, no, no, not Gandhi. Please, not Gandhi. I'm okay with the other two but then if you want to use an Indian example, please say Subhas Chandra Bose the next time. Gandhi was….oh my God! He was just….I'm stuck in the pre-conventional stage and I can't really speak against him. 🙁

  11. This is inaccurate and simplistic. The explanation focuses on only one study, and the theory is much more developed, therefore, the criticisms above. Plesae seek out another source before thinking that this represents Kohlberg's work. It is truly inethical to water this theory down like this.

  12. I am always in stage 6, but post conventional is impractical to the example, so the most realistic is conventional, which means that the most moral person will be punished by the law regardless of fairness. So it tends to be about how self sacrificing one is and for its own sake, but the delimma most practical answer is that protesting will do nothing, and because I'm trying to become more practical, the answer of being conventional is the most correct, but not the most right.

  13. This was so confusing to listen to just the audio of. You use stages, levels, and phases interchangeably throughout. I didn’t know wth was going on

  14. I disagree with the idea that few reach stage six. I think most people believe in what is right and that it is right even if it goes against society, and that the idea of going to prison or being martyred for these ideas comes down more to confidence. If I lived in a fascist society I would personally find it sickeningly immoral, but I don’t know if I’d be willing to die for these principles because:

    1. I value my own life

    2. I doubt how much my personal actions could have an impact

    I think that this is how most people process this as well, being honest with ourselves.

  15. Could this video be remade? the audio quality feels lacking, and its like the voiceover was speaking too close to the mic, yet is too quiet

  16. This video definantly helped with my exam, I would avdvise putting the captions on though since there are parts that are kinda fuzzy.

  17. "Usually the moral and legal standpoints coincide. Here they conflict. The judge should weight the moral standpoint more heavily but preserve the legal law in punishing Heinz lightly" Kohlberg 1976

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *