Kohlberg's work focuses on the cognitive development approach, his theory is also considered to be the most influential theory on moral development.
His work is thought to be an extension of Jean Piaget's work and his theory of moral development.
When looking at moral development Kohlberg does not observe behaviour, he studies the reasons why the person is showing the moral behaviour.
Any one can show moral behaviour its their reason for showing this behaviour which presents their moral maturity
Two people can show the same moral behaviour but it is their reasoning for doing do shows the difference in each other’s moral thinking and maturity
For example two people may think it’s wrong to cheat on a test however one may think it’s wrong because of the chances of being caught and disciplined whereas the other may think it is wrong because it is untruthful and undermines the trust put upon them.
Kohlberg's six stages of moral judgement was a result of research he did. Which involved a group of 50 American males ages 10 to 28 who were interviewed and observed every three years over a period of 18 years.
Kohlberg’s Stages are different to Piaget’s , his stages focuses on all ages rather than childhood and adolescent he focuses on moral development in mature years as well
Theses stages in moral development are in order and universal happens in children all over world at the same age
Pre conventional level is present first in children, it is when the child knows what is right and wrong through punishment and reward.
Stage 1 -punishment and obedience- the child can compare the consequences of their behaviour to determine whether their behaviour is right or wrong
Stage 2 instrumental relativist- the right behaviour is the on that satisfies the individuals needs and occasionally others. This stage shows factors of fairness and equality, “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”
Conventional level- fitting to the stereotypical behaviour and values which are expected by other people in society which is often the person’s