PSYC21H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Wesley Autrey, Moral Realism, Immanence

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
Lecture 9
Components of moral development
- Cognitive
Children develop knowledge about ethical rules and make judgements about the
“goodness” or “badness” of certain acts
- Behavioural
Children behave in good or bad ways in situations that require ethical decision
- Emotional
Children have feelings about their good and bad behaviours
Moral judgement Piaget cognitive theory of moral judgement
- Studied how children’s attitudes towards rules in games changed as the children get
- Examined the way children’s judgements of the seriousness of transgressions changed
with age
- Proposed stage theory
- Stages of moral reasoning
Premoral stage children show little concern for rules (<5)
Moral realism children show great respect from rules and apply them quite
inflexibly (age 5+)
Moral absolutionism rigid application of rules to all individuals regardless of
their culture or circumstances
Immanent justice the notion that any deviation from rules will inevitably result
in punishment or retribution
A lot of behaviour in the world can operate in these two (absolutionism and
immanent justice)
Moral reciprocity children recognize that riles may be questioned and altered,
consider the feelings and views of others, and believe in equal justice for all (age
Start to consider the reality of the situation the nuance of the situation and
try to consider the intention of the other person etc creating many conceptions
of why someone would break a rule
Kohlberg’s Cognitive theory of moral judgement
- Levels and stages of moral judgement
Preconvention- justification for behaviour is based on the desire to avoid
punishment and gain rewards
Avoid punishment (stage 1)
Seek rewards (stage 2)
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Conventional moral judgement is based on motive to conform, either to get
approval from others or to follow society’s rules and conventions doing what
you’re supposed to do
Conform to get approval from others (stage 3)
Conform with society’s rules, laws, and conventions such as duty to family,
marriage vows, or the country (stage 4)
Post-convention - judgments are controlled by internalized ethical code that is
relatively independent of the approval or disapproval of others abstract idea
Morality is based on society’s consensus about human rights (stage 5)
Morality is based on abstract principles of justice and equality (stage 6)
- With Kohlberg’s theory it is more plastic and you can regress into moral judgements not
like how Piaget spoke of it in stages
- Limitations of Kohlberg’s theory
Theory may not be universal as cultural difference have been found
Collectivistic cultures focus on community
Carol Gilligan expanded the moral domain to address gender issues and the
dimension of caring
Ppl move in and out of moral orders, not stages f moral development
Different contexts like work (stage 2) vs. home (stage 3) vs. legal system (stage 4)
- How children learn the rules and distinguish between social domains
The role of culture
Morality will differ depending on which culture you are from
Children all over the world distinguish among moral, social conventional, and
psychological domains
o However, the content of social conventions varies dramatically across
The content of personal issues also varies across cultures
o However, children still judge violations in the moral domain as more
serious than infractions in the social-conventions and psychological
- New aspects of moral development
Expansion to include the area of civil rights and liberties such as freedom of speech
and freedom of religion
As children mature their appreciation of the freedoms we take for granted
Children’s judgements about forms of gov’t also change with age
Development of moral emotions
- Emotions like remorse, shame, and guilt play a role in regulating moral actions and
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