Chap 3- Moral Development from the Standpoint of a General Psychological Theory
Piaget said there were 2 major stages in the development of moral thought, first
stage is a moral heteronomy of absolute and rigid judgments oriented toward
multiple sources of external authority. Second stage more autonomous and
relativistic subscription to principles obtained through social contract.
Kohlberg’s 6 stages of moral development were more advanced.
Social learning theories are based on internalized control of the overt behaviors, and
cognitive theories are based on verbal indices of thinking process changes.
Developmental-cognitive approaches to the acquisition of conscience provide a
welcome antidote to a behavioristic paradigm in which an act is regarded as moral
by virtue of its conformity to an external norm. You need to know someone’s values
to know what they think is moral.
Punishment is not just physical and verbal attacks, it includes psychological things
like rejection and disapproval, and all are an inevitable part of childrearing.
Aronfreed’s experiment was conducted on boys and girls ranging from 8-10 years.
First there is a training period where the kid is presented different pairs of small toy
replicas of real ojbects, over 10 successive trials. One of the toys in each pair is
always attractive while the other isn’t. The kid is supposed to pick the toy he likes
and talk about it. When the kid starts talking about an attractive toy their punished
by saying NO and depriving them of candy without explanation. The child is told
before the experiment that some things are not permitted but that’s it. After one or
two trials all the kids start picking the unattractive toys.
If the kid is punished right when they reached for the toy, even when no ones
around they don’t touch it, but if their punished after they get to touch the toy for a
bit, right when their alone they go for it without resisting.
This experiment shows that punishment attaches anxiety to certain internal