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Moral development.docx

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Jennifer Ostovich

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Moral development How do we learn how we are supposed to treat other people  motivations? “So far, about morals, I know only what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you fee; bad after” ~ Ernest Hemmingway Overview Three approaches to moral development - Psychoanalytic o Role of the moral emotion o Freud, Erikson - Behaviorist o Role of reinforcements and punishments o Skinner, Bandura - Cognitive developmentalist o Role of moral reasoning (thinking about good, bad) o … Moral emotions - Psychoanalytic approach o Superego is developed at the end of the phallic stage o Two components  Conscience (list of what you shouldn’t to do)  GUILT  Specific individual things (bad) that you may do  Idea is you have to obey this list of rule, because if you disobey, you are punished by your superego with “guilt”  Ego ideal (domain general) (list of things that good kids do)  SHAME  General ideas of what is good to do to others/self o WHO IS A GOOD PERSON? o “I want to be a good student”  If you happen to break this list, you feel shame o Not lived up to your code of ethics  We behave morally in order to not feel/avoid these punishments (guilt, shame)  From Freud’s perspective, avoiding these feelings is why we follow these “moral rules” o Erikson adds pride to this  We don’t have to become moral actors because of punishments, it also works with reward (i.e. proud)  If you are really hungry and you steel a chocolate bar, but you know it is morally wrong and you don’t do it  you can feel proud that you have made the right decision - Behaviorist approach (reaction against Freud??) o Moral behaviors are the result of operant conditioning experiences  Rewards and punishments (Skinnerian approach)  Rewards = tend to be caused by good things + get rewarded (will do them more often)  Punishments = tend to be caused by bad things + get punished (will do them less often)  More on punishment  Is it controversial? o Can be helpful is used properly o Inappropriate punishments teach the wrong lesson (embarrassing, humiliating, terrifying)  Makes it impossible to learn the lesson, don’t make the connection that they did something wrong  teach that they shouldn’t do whatever you did in front of mom/dad  No moral lesson being learned! o But, punishments can still be effective (MUST be explained!)  Never do it when you are furious  Do it privately, calmly  Get the kid to admit they did something wrong and then teach them that there is consequences and that they must act upon them  Basically they are undoing the wrong they did o Vicarious rewards and punishments  Bandura’s social-learning theory approach  We don’t need to do it to see rewards/punishments  We can learn from the social environment  View someone else receiving reward/punishment can teach us a lot about rewards and punishments (and if it is a bad action, we know from seeing someone getting punished that it is a bad action and we shouldn’t do it) - Cognitive approach o Process of making judgments about the “rightness” or “wrongness” of specific acts o Ability to reason depends on cognitive development  Egocentrism  Centering  Abstract thought  If you haven’t experienced these, then it is hard to comprehend moral actions (rewards, punishments) o Piaget’s model of moral development  See textbook o Kohleberg’s model of moral development  Influenced by Piaget’s model  theory was not complete, inspired to create his own, more complete  Moral judgment interview  Present subjects with a series of moral dilemmas  Ask a series of questions about the moral question raised in each dilemma (takes about an hour)  The Heinz dilemma  Story: o Women was near death, with cancer  one drug might be able to save her  Heinz is her husband, she is dying o Drug was expensive, but charged 10 times more than what drug took to make o Doctor refused to lower price, so Heinz breaks in to store in order to steal the drug  Questions (examples) o Should he have stolen the drug? Why? o What if he didn’t love his wife? Would that matter? o Would he still it for a stranger? Why? o What would be a judge’s sentence if he got caught? Why?  How the theory is structured  Kohlberg describes 3 levels o Pre-conventional  Comes from own experience, don’t have reference group, may not know what you are doing  Do not identify with any group o Conventional  To realize that you are part of a group, do what the group thinks is correct, incorrect (do what they do)  Adhere to convention – set by culture, reference group o Post-conventional  Belong to reference group, but you realize that that group may be wrong or acting immorally in certain situations  Do feel apart of a group, but you are at a place where you can question it  Each level has 2 stages o Each stage shows a more cognitively and morally advanced way of reasoning about moral dilemmas o Level 1: Pre-conventional Morality  Moral judgments are based on consequences to self  Stage 1: punishment and obedience orientation o Things that get us punished are bad o Things that do not get punished are good o Learn about it from authority figures – older people must be obeyed  Obey them to avoid punishments  Stage 2: self-interest orientation o Things that make us feel good are good (and vice versa) o It is fair (moral) to reciprocate both good and bad acts  Illustrations (going back to Heinz story) o Taiwan  (should steal the drug, if she dies, he will have to pay for her funeral) – self-interested o USA  (should he steal the drug for friend? Yes! Because he will return the favor later) – self- interested o Level 2: Conventional Morality  Moral judgments are now based on membership in some reference group  These stages = very controversial (in textbook)  Stage 3: interpersonal relationships (small group) o Concern for other people (i.e. family, friends, church group)  Love them, empathy for them, trust them o Motivation determines morality  Even if you did something bad, but you did for these people that you loved, then it can’t be bad o Illustrations  Heinz’s is good person because he wanted to save the life of a loved one (Kohlberg’s quotes)  Druggist is bad = he has bad motivations, should be stolen from because he is bad  Stage 4: maintaining social order (culture, society) o Concern for society as a whole  Desire to protect society  i.e. Law and Order – we must follow laws to keep order for society, if not, then it turns to chaos o Cultural-level obedience determines morality o Bound to follow laws, can’t go against that framework o Illustrations  Heinz should not steal the drug as it would be breaking the law  Both stages will say that Heinz should not steal the drug, but stage 4 will imply that he breaks the law over being punished o It is a belief that if the laws are not adhered to, then the world will simply fall apart o Level 3: Post-Conventional Morality  There is something lar
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