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Moral development theories

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Jane has been relentlessly asking her parents for a new toy she saw on television. Many of her friends' parents have already purchased the toy for their children. Jane has told her parents this and explained to them how cool the toy is. Her parents, however, have told Jane they cannot afford the toy. One weekend, Jane is at the mall with her friend's parent. While she is there, she notices something fall out of the pocket of the person in front of her. She quickly picks it up and realizes no one appears to have noticed. It's a $20 dollar bill! She knows she can afford the toy she wants if she keeps the money. Should she tell her friend's parent that her mom gave her the money to purchase the toy or should she give the money back?

Briefly describe at least two moral development theories of Kohlberg, Gilligan, and/or Haidt.
Explain how each of the two theories you selected would address the moral dilemma presented in the scenario.
Based on the theories, explain how a child (Jane) might decide what to do with the money found in the moral dilemma. Be sure to include the effects that age and culture might have on her decision.

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Moral development theories:

Lawrence Kohlberg expounded on Piaget's theory and proposed that moral development occurs throughout an individual's lifespan since it is a continuous process. Kohlberg carried out research using a scenario referred to as "The Heinz Dilemma" on children of various ages. He proposed that children ways of thinking is determined by their understanding on moral concepts which include justice, equality, human welfare and rights (Nucci, 2008). Through his research Kohlberg established that there are six stages of moral development categorized into three levels. The first level is known as pre conventional morality, conventional morality and post conventional morality.

The first stage is known as obedience and punishment whereby children have the opinion that rules are important and absolute and should obey the rules in order to avoid punishment. The second stage is known as individualism and exchange whereby children judge different scenarios based on how best they meet individual needs. The third stage is the interpersonal relationships stage which entails a child believing that one should behave in good manner to meet family and community expectations. At this stage there is conformity to expected norm and decisions are based on how there are going to influence relationships.

In stage four which involves maintaining social order whereby an individual is focused on obeying laws and on performing required duties so that social order is ...

Solution Summary

Moral development theories are applied to a case study clearly.

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Kohlberg and Piaget are compared.

Both Kohlberg and Piaget focused on the moral development of the child. How would each theorist explain why a 10-year-old child might steal a toy from a store? Which one is more convincing to you? Why?

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