What Are Some Postulations of Kohlberg's Theory of Development?


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Kohlberg's theory of development posits that during life people go through six levels of moral development, notes Professor Robert N. Barger. The first level, which exists through elementary school for most people, consists of obedience to socially acceptable norms due to the threat or application of punishment for deviation.

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As people age, they progress through the remaining levels until they reach they reach the fifth level, which is a social contract whereby a person acts morally out of an understanding of mutual life and a genuine interest in the well being of others, explains Professor Robert N. Barger. Kohlberg argued that most people did not reach the sixth level, principled conscience, in which a person acts morally out of a respect for a universal morality and the internal demands of conscience.

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