Lawrence Kohlberg’s Development of Moral Reasoning

  • Born:October 25, 1927
  • Birthplace: Bronxville, New York, United States
  • Died: January 19, 1987
  • Location of death: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, United States
  • Nationality: American
  • Occupation: Psychologist, College Teacher

Level of Moral development

Stage of Reasoning

Approximate Age

“do’s and don’ts”
Stage 1: (Punishment and Obedience Orientation). Right is obedience to power and avoidance of punishment. (“I must follow the rules otherwise I will be punished”).
Stage 2: Instrumental Relativist Orientation. Right is taking responsibility and leaving others to be responsible for themselves. (“I must follow the rules for the reward and favor it gives”).
Conventional Stage 3: Good-Boy-Nice Girl Orientation. Right is being considerate: “uphold the values of other adolescents and adults” rules of society”. (“I must follow the rules so I will be accepted”)
Stage 4: Society-Maintaining Orientation. Right is being good, with the values and norms of family and society at large.(“I must follow rules so there is order in the society”).
adolescence and adulthood
Postconventional Stage 5: Social Contract Reorientation. Right is finding inner “universal rights” balance between self-rights and societal rules – a social contract.(“I must follow rules as there are reasonable laws for it”).
Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle orientation. Right is based on a higher order of applying principles to all human-kind; being non-judgmental and respecting all human life. (“I must follow rules because my conscience tells me”).
after 20

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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