According to Kohlberg, individuals progress through a series of stages in the evolution of their sense of justice and in the kind of reasoning that they utilize to make moral judgments (Feldman, R., 2013, p. 426). His work modified and expanded from Jean Piaget’s previous work to form a theory of cognitive development that explained how pre-adolescent children develop moral reasoning (Cherry, K., 2014, October 12). Kohlberg’s theory of moral development focuses on children’s ability to distinguish right from wrong based on their perception. His theory claims that individuals progress through the levels morality in a fixed order and that they are unable to reach the highest level of moral reasoning until the age of 13 primarily due to limitations in cognitive development (Feldman, R., 2013, p. 427). Changes in moral reasoning can be understood best as a three-level sequence; pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional morality (McLeod, S.A., 2013).
The first level of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development is the pre-conventional level consisting of two stages; one being the obedience and punishment stage, and the other being the individualism and exchange stage (Cherry, K., 2014, October 12). The obedience and punishment orientation...
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...itive development. The two year old was sucking, chewing, and shaking his toys, displaying the characteristics of the sensorimotor stage of cognitive development. He also expressed his lack of object permanence when I attempted to play with him by hiding one of his toys under a blanket in front of him; he made no attempt to look for his toy under the blanket as he assumed that his toy did not exist anymore.
The developmental branch of psychology has many theories that study human development over the course of our lives. The cognitive and moral theory by Kohlberg and Piaget gives us an understanding of how our judgment of morality and understanding of the world changes throughout our lives with age and experience. The cognitive theory consisted of four stages and the moral theory consisted of three however, not many people ever reach the final stages of development.
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