PSYD22 Chap 2-Moral Stages and Moralization
6 Moral Development stages (Kohlberg)
Stages of logical reasoning/intelligence (Piaget):
(After learning to speak)- Intuitive stage, concrete operational (age 7), and then
formal operational (adolescence)
Most people are in at least partial formal operational stage, if they’re fully in
concrete their limited to preconventional stage 1 and 2 of morals. If low level formal,
stage 3 and 4 of morals.
You can be at a higher logical stage than moral but never the opposite.
After logical development comes social perception and roletaking, which is easier
than judging right or wrong (morals).
Vertical sequence for moral stages 1-6 (pre-conventional to post-conventional), and
horizontal sequence from logic, to social perception, to moral development.
Pre-conventional is doing what you want (rules external to self), conventional is
doing what society wants (rules internalized with self), and post-conventional is
doing what you think is morally right. (differentiating between rules and self)
Judging by principle rather than by convention.
Selman defines role-taking as the way individuals differentiate their perspective
Sociomoral perspective- the point of view the individual takes in defining both social
facts and sociomoral values, or ought’s.
Moral Judgement Social Perspective
Pre-conventional Concrete individual perspective
Stage 1- Heteronomous Morality Egocentric point of view
Don’t break rules to avoid punishment Doesn’t care what others think.
Stage 2- Individualism Concrete Individualistic perspective
Following rules to meet own needs Realize that everyone has own interests
Conventional Member-of-society perspective
Stage 3- Mutual Interpersonal Relationships with others
Expectations & Conformity
Being good for others. Loyalty. Aware of shared feelings, empathy. Stage 4- Social Systems and Conscience Societal point of view vs Interpsonal motive
Following rules to keeps system stable See perspective of society and the system
Post-conventional Prior-to-society perspective
Stage 5- Social Contract/Indiv Rights Realizing that sometimes morals and legal
Realizing that rules are for the good rules conflict
of all people and for liberty.
Stage 6- Universal Ethical Principles Perspective of a Moral Point of View
Self chosen rational perspectives Realizing that people need to be treated
Post-conventional perspective is all about 1. Society or social practices may be
judged, and 2. A person may rationally commit himself to a society.
When moral obligations conflict with legal, morals usually win for post-
While stage 4 is more of a system perspective, stage 3 is more of a participant in a
shared relationship or group.
Stage 1 is only about yourself, while stage 2 your aware of others opinions and
feelings too but still all about yourself.
Stage 5 puts laws and morals on an equal plane, stage 6 is all about personal justice,
so that each person as treated as an end, not a means. You look at the basic thing
from which legal’s and morals can be derived.
Four Moral Orientations and the Shift toward Greater Equilibrium within
Perception- of social fact is (role taking), Prescription of the right or good is (moral
The following are Moral Categories:
Modal Categories: (such as rights, duties, the mutually approvable, responsibility)
and Elemental Categories: (such as welfare, liberty, equality, reciprocity, rules and
There are also four Moral Orientations: 1. Normative order: Orientation to prescribed rules and roles of the social or
moral order. Basic considerations in decision making center on the element
2. Utility Consequences (Utilitarian): Orientation to the good or bad welfare
consequences of action in the situation for others and/or the self.
3. Justice or Fairness: Orientation to relations of liberty, equality, reciprocity,
and contract between persons.
4. Ideal-self: Orientation to an image of actor as a good self, or as someone with
conscience, and to his motives or virtue (relatively independet of approval
consequences from others).
So some people just follow the rules to respect the rules, some care about the
welfare of others, others have an idealized moral self that they base their actions
on, and others identify morality with justice.
Examples for Why you shouldn’t steal from a store:
Normative: It’s always wrong to steal because when you start breaking rules,
everything goes to pieces.
Utilitarian: You’re hurting other people, the storeowner has a family to support.
Justice: The storeowner worked hard for his money and you didn’t.
Ideal-self: A person who isn’t honest isn’t worth much. Stealing and cheating are
both the same, they are both dishonesty.
All these view points may be used at the same time but justice is most essential.
Moral situations are conflicts of interest/perspectives, and justice is the resolve.
Justice can be all four orientations, but the core of justice is: The distribution of
rights and duties regulated by concepts of equality and reciprocity.
Justice is the balance or equilibrium between social actions and relations.
Longitudinal studies where Normative and utilitarian is type A and ideal self/
justice is type B, shows that Type A people make judgments more descriptively
and predictively, in terms of whats already out there, and type B is
prescriptively/internal in terms of what ought to be. So type B shows awareness
of rules and judges their fairness.
For the 6 stages from before, substage A is all about what does the system
demand, and substage B takes it a step further and tries to strike a balance
between the system and individual rights in a democratic way.
Methodology in assessing moral judgment development
To identify moral stage from interviews, they used “aspect scoring”, this has two
methods, (sentence scoring, and story rating) Stage 1: (aspect scoring)
Rules: try to follow it because of fear of punishment.
Conscience: Things are only wrong because of punishment.
Altruism: Only cares about self, not others.
Duty: only obligation to self, not others.
Self-interest: Don’t even look out for yourself because of fear of punishment.
Limits of Aspect Scoring:
Has too much extraneous content, and revealed that their was a stage 4.5, called
the out of society perspective. There was also a lot of skipping of stages and
going backwards. (Inversions/regression) Aspect scoring was all about
structure, and content about law and order. Since you can have the law and
order content without social perspective or vice versa, they devised a new
method called Issue Scoring.
Intuitive Issue Scoring- Most valid method of scoring (reliable and has 90%
First analyzed types of content valued at each stage, what the individual is
valuing, judging, or appealing to rather than his mode of reasoning.
The following are the universal issues/values they came up with:
1. Laws and rules, 2. Conscience, 3. Personal roles of affection, 4. Authority, 5. Civil
Rights, 6. Contract, trust, and justice in exchange, 7. Punishment and justice, 8. The
value of life, 9. Property rights and values. 10. Truth, 11. Sex and sexual love.
Old system was either sentence scoring (too small for analysis) or story scoring (too
large), new system was the ideal typological scoring.
Heinz Dilemma- story that man is trying to steal medicine from a druggist
(storeowner who charges too much) for his dying wife.
Stage 1: doesn’t think life is more important than breaking the law or property.
Stage 2: Realizes life is important but depends on how much you like them.
Stage 3: You’re not a good person if you don’t steal to save a life.
Stage 4: Life is sacred, but you are not obligated to steal.
Stage 5: The right to anyone’s life is more important than anything, laws or
property. However, this method is too intuitive to provide satisfactory test construction
characteristics for items of difficulty, item independence, or written verse oral
interviews. So Kohlberg came up with a standardized issue scoring method, This has
three stories and only 2 issues in each. There is a Form A with the following, and
Form B with different stories but the same issues for