Erikson's Moral Development

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Life is a constant cycle of developing. Conversely, development does not stop at physical changes. As they age, people continue to develop cognitively, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and morally. Although, these stages of development are stronger in certain areas of life, they nevertheless provide an interesting view on the human lifespan. Furthermore, studying development in the late stages of life can allow one to view development in its entirety. Not only does one develop throughout life, a person should learn important life lessons along the way.
Unfortunately, facing challenges or conflicts in life never stops. This view is strongly shared by psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. Erikson believed that development is split into eight stages.
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Despite the complexity, psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg split moral development into three stages: preconventional morality, conventional morality, and postconventional morality. He believed that people pass through these stages as their sense of justice and reasoning evolves. The first stage, preconventional, relates to young children until nine years old. In this stage, children answer moral dilemma questions in regards to reward and punishment. The second stage, conventional, relates to children aged nine to the teenage years. Moral reasoning starts to progress in that children answer moral dilemmas in terms of laws, rules, or duties. Kohlberg thought that most people stay within this stage and that progression to the last stage, postconventional, was rare. In the final stage, people answer moral dilemmas in terms of their own moral code. They tend to not think of situations in black and white ideology, but more so in gray areas. Depending on the person, the last stage may or may not have been achieved in the last stages of life (Feldman…show more content…
Based on her reponse of when it was permissible to lie and steal, she showed that she was partly in the postconventional stage. She appeared to be in the postconventional stage when she stated that a white lie is permissible since it is not causing harm or may prevent harm from occurring. Howbeit, when asked if stealing was permissible, she stated that it is never okay. Since she also stated that her family never stole even in poverty, she may have considered a gray area. Therefore, this response could potentially be part a personal moral code or she may follow the conventional concept of rules. Nevertheless, I believe that, for the most part, she is within the postconventional

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