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By Arlene F. Harder, MA, MFT
"It is human to have a long childhood; it is civilized to have an even longer childhood. Long childhood makes a technical and mental virtuoso out of man, but it also leaves a life-long residue of emotional immaturity in him." — Erik Homburger Erikson (1902-1994)
ARE WE GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE TO LEARN?
While the first premise of Erik Erikson's developmental stages, i.e., the world gets bigger and more complex as we go along, is fairly obvious, but we might take exception to the last, i.e., failure is cumulative. It is true that in many cases an individual who has to deal with horrendous circumstances as a child may be unable to negotiate later stages as easily as someone who didn't have many challenges early on. For example, we know that orphans who weren't held or stroked as infants have an extremely hard time connecting with others when they become adults and have even died from lack of human contact. However, there's always the chance that somewhere along the
Our personality traits come in opposites. We think of
ourselves as optimistic or pessimistic, independent or dependent, emotional or unemotional, adventurous or cautious, leader or follower, aggressive or passive. Many of these are inborn temperament traits, but other characteristics, such as feeling either competent or inferior, appear to be learned, based on the challenges and support we receive in growing up. The man who did a great deal to explore this concept is Erik Erikson. Although he was influenced by Freud, he believed that the ego exists from birth and that behavior is not totally defensive. Based in part on his study of Sioux Indians on a reservation, Erikson became aware of the massive influence of culture on behavior and placed more emphasis on the external world, such as depression and wars. He felt the course of development is determined by the interaction of the body (genetic biological programming), mind (psychological), and cultural (ethos) influences. He organized life into eight stages that extend from birth to death (many developmental theories only cover childhood). Since adulthood covers a span of many years, Erikson divided the stages of adulthood into the experiences of young adults, middle aged adults and older adults. While the actual ages may vary considerably from one stage to another, the ages seem to be appropriate for the majority of people. Erikson's basic philosophy might be said to rest on two
major themes: (1) the world gets bigger as we go along and (2) failure is cumulative. While the first point is fairly obvious, we might take exception to the last. True, in many cases an individual who has to deal with horrendous circumstances as a child may be unable to negotiate later stages as easily as someone who didn't have as many challenges early on. For example, we know that orphans who weren't held or stroked as infants have an extremely hard time connecting with others when they become adults and have even died from lack of human contact. However, there's always the chance that somewhere along the way the strength of the human spirit can be ignited and deficits overcome. Therefore, to give you an idea of another developmental concept, be sure to see Stages of Growth for Children and Adults, based on Pamela Levine's work. She saw development as a spiraling cycle rather than as stages through which we pass, never to visit again. As you read through the following eight stages with their sets of opposites, notice which strengths you identify with most and those you need to work on some more.
1. Infancy: Birth to 18 Months
way the strength of the human spirit can be ignited and deficits overcome. Therefore, I like the concept of development as a spiraling cycle rather than as stages through which we pass, never to visit again. You can see how this concept of developmental stages works in Words of Encouragement for Everyone . . . Especially Parents Who Want to Know How to Encourage Their Children, a fourminute presentation of how affirmations appropriate to each period of growth is the best way to navigate developmental cycles. Also see Integrating All of Life's Lessons developed for the Childhood Affirmations website. And be sure to listen to an excerpt from a CD titled Words of Encouragement Everyone Needs [Note: If you don't have a Flash player, click
Ego Development Outcome: Trust vs. Mistrust Basic strength: Drive and Hope Erikson also referred to infancy as the Oral Sensory Stage (as anyone might who watches a baby put everything in her mouth) where the major emphasis is on the mother's positive and loving care for the child, with a big emphasis on visual contact and touch. If we pass successfully through this period of life, we will learn to trust that life is basically okay and have basic confidence in the future. If we fail to experience trust and are constantly frustrated because our needs are not met, we may end up with a deep-seated feeling of worthlessness and a mistrust of the world in general. Incidentally, many studies of suicides and suicide attempts
point to the importance of the early years in developing the basic belief that the world is trustworthy and that every individual has a right to be here. Not surprisingly, the most significant relationship is with the maternal parent, or whoever is our most significant and constant caregiver.
2. Early Childhood: 18 Months to 3 Years
here for a FREE download.] As you examine the legacy given to you by your parents and grandparents, you may discover strengths you underestimated. You may also realize you didn't hear important affirmations you would benefit from today. But it's never too late to learn what you may have missed. Incidentally, several people have been credited with organizing the stages of growth in this way. I first learned about this cycle of stages from material written by Pam Levine and expanded by Sheryn Scott, Ph.D. Later I discovered these concepts further elaborated by Jane Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson in Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children.
Ego Development Outcome: Autonomy vs. Shame Basic Strengths: Self-control, Courage, and Will During this stage we learn to master skills for ourselves. Not only do we learn to walk, talk and feed ourselves, we are learning finer motor development as well as the much appreciated toilet training. Here we have the opportunity to build self-esteem and autonomy as we gain more control over our bodies and acquire new skills, learning right from wrong. And one of our skills during the "Terrible Two's" is our ability to use the powerful word "NO!" It may be pain for parents, but it develops important skills of the will. It is also during this stage, however, that we can be very vulnerable. If we're shamed in the process of toilet training or in learning other important skills, we may feel great shame and doubt of our capabilities and suffer low selfesteem as a result. The most significant relationships are with parents.
3. Play Age: 3 to 5 Years
Ego Development Outcome: Initiative vs. Guilt Basic Strength: Purpose During this period we experience a desire to copy the adults around us and take initiative in creating play situations. We make up stories with Barbie's and Ken's, toy phones and miniature cars, playing out roles in a trial universe, experimenting with the blueprint for what we believe it means to be an adult. We also begin to use that wonderful
word for exploring the world—"WHY?" While Erikson was influenced by Freud, he downplays biological sexuality in favor of the psychosocial features of conflict between child and parents. Nevertheless, he said that at this stage we usually become involved in the classic "Oedipal struggle" and resolve this struggle through "social role identification." If we're frustrated over natural desires and goals, we may easily experience guilt. The most significant relationship is with the basic family.
4. School Age: 6 to 12 Years
Ego Development Outcome: Industry vs. Inferiority Basic Strengths: Method and Competence During this stage, often called the Latency, we are capable of learning, creating and accomplishing numerous new skills and knowledge, thus developing a sense of industry. This is also a very social stage of development and if we experience unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among our peers, we can have serious problems in terms of competence and self-esteem. As the world expands a bit, our most significant relationship is with the school and neighborhood. Parents are no longer the complete authorities they once were, although they are still important.
5. Adolescence: 12 to 18 Years
Ego Development Outcome: Identity vs. Role Confusion Basic Strengths: Devotion and Fidelity Up to this stage, according to Erikson, development mostly depends upon what is done to us. From here on out, development depends primarily upon what we do. And while adolescence is a stage at which we are neither a child nor an adult, life is definitely getting more complex as we attempt to find our own identity, struggle with social interactions, and grapple with moral issues.
Our task is to discover who we are as individuals separate from our family of origin and as members of a wider society. Unfortunately for those around us, in this process many of us go into a period of withdrawing from responsibilities, which Erikson called a "moratorium." And if we are unsuccessful in navigating this stage, we will experience role confusion and upheaval. A significant task for us is to establish a philosophy of life and in this process we tend to think in terms of ideals, which are conflict free, rather than reality, which is not. The problem is that we don't have much experience and find it easy to substitute ideals for experience. However, we can also develop strong devotion to friends and causes. It is no surprise that our most significant relationships are with peer groups.
6. Young adulthood: 18 to 35
Ego Development Outcome: Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation Basic Strengths: Affiliation and Love In the initial stage of being an adult we seek one or more companions and love. As we try to find mutually satisfying relationships, primarily through marriage and friends, we generally also begin to start a family, though this age has been pushed back for many couples who today don't start their families until their late thirties. If negotiating this stage is successful, we can experience intimacy on a deep level. If we're not successful, isolation and distance from others may occur. And when we don't find it easy to create satisfying relationships, our world can begin to shrink as, in defense, we can feel superior to others. Our significant relationships are with marital partners and friends.
7. Middle Adulthood: 35 to 55 or 65
Ego Development Outcome: Generativity vs. Self absorption or Stagnation Basic Strengths: Production and Care Now work is most crucial. Erikson observed that middleage is when we tend to be occupied with creative and meaningful work and with issues surrounding our family. Also, middle adulthood is when we can expect to "be in charge," the role we've longer envied. The significant task is to perpetuate culture and transmit values of the culture through the family (taming the kids) and working to establish a stable environment. Strength comes through care of others and production of something that contributes to the betterment of society, which Erikson calls generativity, so when we're in this stage we often fear inactivity and meaninglessness. As our children leave home, or our relationships or goals change, we may be faced with major life changes—the mid-life crisis—and struggle with finding new meanings and purposes. If we don't get through this stage successfully, we can become self-absorbed and stagnate. Significant relationships are within the workplace, the community and the family.
8. Late Adulthood: 55 or 65 to Death
Ego Development Outcome: Integrity vs. Despair Basic Strengths: Wisdom Erikson felt that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage is recovering from it. Perhaps that is because as older adults we can often look back on our lives with happiness and are content, feeling fulfilled with a deep sense that life has meaning and we've made a contribution to life, a feeling Erikson calls integrity. Our strengt h comes from a wisdom that the world is very large and we now have a detached concern for
the whole of life, accepting death as the completion of life. On the other hand, some adults may reach this stage and despair at their experiences and perceived failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering "Was the trip worth it?" Alternatively, they may feel they have all the answers (not unlike going back to adolescence) and end with a strong dogmatism that only their view has been correct. The significant relationship is with all of mankind—"mykind." © Copyright 2002, Revised 2009, Arlene F. Harder, MA, MFT
The Oral Stage
During the oral stage, the infant's primary source of interaction occurs through the mouth, so the rooting and sucking reflex is especially important. The mouth is vital for eating, and the infant derives pleasure from oral stimulation through gratifying activities such as tasting and sucking. Because the infant is entirely dependent upon caretakers (who are responsible for feeding the child), the infant also develops a sense of trust and comfort through this oral stimulation. The primary conflict at this stage is the weaning process--the child must become less dependent upon caretakers. If fixation occurs at this stage, Freud believed the individual would have issues with dependency or aggression. Oral fixation can result in problems with drinking, eating, smoking, or nail biting.
The Anal Stage
During the anal stage, Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is toilet training--the child has to learn to control his or her bodily needs. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence. According to Freud, success at this stage is dependent upon the way in which parents approach toilet training. Parents who utilize praise and rewards for using the toilet at the appropriate time encourage positive outcomes and help children feel capable and
productive. Freud believed that positive experiences during this stage served as the basis for people to become competent, productive, and creative adults. However, not all parents provide the support and encouragement that children need during this stage. Some parents' instead punish, ridicule, or shame a child for accidents. According to Freud, inappropriate parental responses can result in negative outcomes. If parents take an approach that is too lenient, Freud suggested that an anal-expulsive personality could develop in which the individual has a messy, wasteful, or destructive personality. If parents are too strict or begin toilet training too early, Freud believed that an anal-retentive personality develops in which the individual is stringent, orderly, rigid, and obsessive.
The Phallic Stage
During the phallic stage, the primary focus of the libido is on the genitals. Children also discover the differences between males and females. Freud also believed that boys begin to view their fathers as a rival for the mother’s affections. The Oedipus complex describes these feelings of wanting to possess the mother and the desire to replace the father. However, the child also fears that he will be punished by the father for these feelings, a fear Freud termed castration anxiety. The term Electra complex has been used to described a similar set of feelings experienced by young girls. Freud, however, believed that girls instead experience penis envy. Eventually, the child realizes begins to identify with the same-sex parent as a means of vicariously possessing the other parent. For girls, however, Freud believed that penis envy was never fully resolved and that all women remain somewhat fixated on this stage. Psychologists such as Karen Horney disputed this theory, calling it both inaccurate and demeaning to women. Instead, Horney proposed that men experience feelings of inferiority because they cannot give birth to children.
The Latent Period
During the latent period, the libido interests are suppressed. The development of the ego and superego contribute to this period of calm. The stage begins around the time that children enter into school and become more concerned with peer relationships, hobbies, and other interests. The latent period is a time of exploration in which the sexual energy is still present, but it is directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions. This stage is important in the development of social and communication skills and selfconfidence.
The Genital Stage
During the final stage of psychosexual development, the individual develops a strong sexual interest in the opposite sex. Where in earlier stages the focus was solely on
individual needs, interest in the welfare of others grows during this stage. If the other stages have been completed successfully, the individual should now be well-balanced, warm, and caring. The goal of this stage is to establish a balance between the various life areas. http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/psychosexualdev_6.htm
Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory
Explanations > Learning Theory > Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory The stages | Fixation | So what
Sigmund Freud developed a theory of how our sexuality starts from a very young ages and develops through various fixations. If these stages are not psychologically completed and released, we can be trapped by them and they may lead to various defense mechanisms to avoid the anxiety produced from the conflict in and leaving of the stage.
Age Name Pleasure source Mouth: sucking, biting, swallowing Anus: defecating or retaining faeces Genitals Sexual urges sublimated into sports and hobbies. Same-sex friends also help avoid sexual feelings. Physical sexual changes reawaken repressed needs. Genital Conflict Weaning away from mother's breast Toilet training Oedipus (boys), Electra (girls)
pubert y onward
Direct sexual feelings towards others lead to sexual gratification.
Strong conflict can fixate people at early stages.
Oral fixation Oral fixation has two possible outcomes.
The Oral receptive personality is preoccupied with eating/drinking and reduces tension through oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking, biting nails. They are generally passive, needy and sensitive to rejection. They will easily 'swallow' other people's ideas. The Oral aggressive personality is hostile and verbally abusive to others, using mouth-based aggression.
Anal fixation Anal fixation, which may be caused by too much punishment during toilet training, has two possible outcomes.
The Anal retentive personality is stingy, with a compulsive seeking of order and tidiness. The person is generally stubborn and perfectionist. The Anal expulsive personality is an opposite of the Anal retentive personality, and has a lack of self control, being generally messy and careless.
Phallic fixation At the age of 5 or 6, near the end of the phallic stage, boys experience the Oedipus Complex whilst girls experience the Electra conflict, which is a process through which they learn to identify with the same gender parent by acting as much like that parent as possible. Boys suffer a castration anxiety, where the son believes his father knows about his desire for his mother and hence fears his father will castrate him. He thus represses his desire and defensively identifies with his father. Girls suffer a penis envy, where the daughter is initially attached to her mother, but then a shift of attachment occurs when she realizes she lacks a penis. She desires her father whom she sees as a means to obtain a penis substitute (a child). She then represses her desire for her father and incorporates the values of her mother and accepts her inherent 'inferiority' in society. This is Freud, remember. He later also recanted, noting that perhaps he had placed too much emphasis on sexual connotations.
Stages of Cognitive Development
Stage Sensori-motor (Birth-2 yrs) Characterised by Differentiates self from objects Recognises self as agent of action and begins to act intentionally: e.g. pulls a string to set mobile in motion or shakes a rattle to make a noise Achieves object permanence: realises that things continue to exist even when no longer present to the sense (pace Bishop Berkeley) Pre-operational Learns to use language and to represent objects by images and
words Thinking is still egocentric: has difficulty taking the viewpoint of others Classifies objects by a single feature: e.g. groups together all the red blocks regardless of shape or all the square blocks regardless of colour
Concrete operational (7-11 years)
Can think logically about objects and events Achieves conservation of number (age 6), mass (age 7), and weight (age 9) Classifies objects according to several features and can order them in series along a single dimension such as size.
Formal operational (11 years and up)
Can think logically about abstract propositions and test hypotheses systemtically Becomes concerned with the hypothetical, the future, and ideological problems
Discussion Piaget’s theory identifies four developmental stages and the processes by which children progress through them. The four stages are:
1. Sensorimotor stage (birth - 2 years old)–The child, through physical interaction with his
or her environment, builds a set of concepts about reality and how it works. This is the stage where a child does not know that physical objects remain in existence even when out of sight (object permanance).
2. Preoperational stage (ages 2-7)–The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and
needs concrete physical situations.
3. Concrete operations (ages 7-11)–As physical experience accumulates, the child starts to
conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences. Abstract problem solving is also possible at this stage. For example, arithmetic equations can be solved with numbers, not just with objects.
4. Formal operations (beginning at ages 11-15)–By this point, the child’s cognitive
structures are like those of an adult and include conceptual reasoning. Piaget outlined several principles for building cognitive structures. During all development stages, the child experiences his or her environment using whatever mental maps he or she has constructed so far. If the experience is a repeated one, it fits easily–or is assimilated–into the child’s cognitive structure so that he or she maintains mental “equilibrium.” If the experience is different or new, the child loses equilibrium, and alters his or her cognitive structure to accommodate the new conditions. This way, the child erects more and more adequate cognitive structures.
http://www.funderstanding.com/content/piaget Kohlberg was not interested so much in the answer to the question of whether Heinz was wrong or right, but in the reasoning for the participants decision. The responses
were then classified into various stages of reasoning in his theory of moral development. Level 1. Preconventional Morality • • Stage 1 - Obedience and Punishment The earliest stage of moral development is especially common in young children, but adults are capable of expressing this type of reasoning. At this stage, children see rules as fixed and absolute. Obeying the rules is important because it is a means to avoid punishment. Stage 2 - Individualism and Exchange At this stage of moral development, children account for individual points of view and judge actions based on how they serve individual needs. In the Heinz dilemma, children argued that the best course of action was whichever best-served Heinz’s needs. Reciprocity is possible, but only if it serves one's own interests.
Level 2. Conventional Morality • • Stage 3 - Interpersonal Relationships Often referred to as the "good boy-good girl" orientation, this stage of moral development is focused on living up to social expectations and roles. There is an emphasis on conformity, being "nice," and consideration of how choices influence relationships. Stage 4 - Maintaining Social Order At this stage of moral development, people begin to consider society as a whole when making judgments. The focus is on maintaining law and order by following the rules, doing one’s duty, and respecting authority.
Level 3. Postconventional Morality • • Stage 5 - Social Contract and Individual Rights At this stage, people begin to account for the differing values, opinions, and beliefs of other people. Rules of law are important for maintaining a society, but members of the society should agree upon these standards. Stage 6 - Universal Principles Kolhberg’s final level of moral reasoning is based upon universal ethical principles and abstract reasoning. At this stage, people follow these internalized principles of justice, even if they conflict with laws and rules.
KOHLBERG'S STAGES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT A. PREMORAL OR PRECONVENTIONAL STAGES: Behavior motivated by anticipation of pleasure or pain.
STAGE 1: PUNISHMENT AND OBEDIENCE: Avoidance of physical punishment and deference to power. Punishment is an automatic response of physical retaliation. The immediate physical consequences of an action determine its goodness or badness. The atrocities carried out by soldiers during the holocaust who were simply "carrying out orders" under threat of punishment, illustrate that adults as well as children may function at stage one level. STAGE 2: INSTRUMENTAL EXCHANGE: Marketplace exchange of favors or blows. "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." Justice is: "Do unto others as they do unto you." Individual does what is necessary, makes concessions only as necessary to satisfy his own needs. Right action consists of what instrumentally satisfies one's own needs. Vengeance is considered a moral duty. People are valued in terms of their utility. B. CONVENTIONAL MORALITY: Acceptance of the rules and standards of one's group. STAGE 3: INTERPERSONAL CONFORMITY: Right is conformity to the behavioral expectations of one's society or peers. Individual acts to gain approval of others. Good behavior is that which pleases or helps others within the group. "Everybody is doing it." One earns approval by being conventionally "respectable" and "nice." Sin is a breach of the expectations of the social order. Retribution, however, at this stage is collective. Individual vengeance is not allowed. Forgiveness is preferable to revenge. Punishment is mainly for deterrence. Failure to punish is "unfair." "If he can get away with it, why can't I?" STAGE 4: LAW AND ORDER: Respect for rules, laws and properly constituted authority. Defense of the given social and institutional order for it's own sake. Responsibility toward the welfare of others in the society. "Justice" normally refers to criminal or forensic justice. Justice demands that the wrongdoer be punished, that he "pay his debt to society," and that law abiders be rewarded. "A good day's pay for a good day's work." Injustice is failing to reward work or punish demerit. Right behavior consists of maintaining the social order for its own sake. Authority figures are seldom questioned. "He must be right. He's the Pope (or the President, or the Judge, or God)." Consistency and precedent must be maintained. STAGE 4 ½: Between the conventional stages and the post-conventional Levels 5 and 6, there is a transitional stage. College-age students that have come to see conventional morality as relative and arbitrary, but have not yet discovered universal ethical principles, may drop into a hedonistic ethic of "do your own thing." This was well noted in the hippie culture of the l960's. Disrespect for conventional morality was especially infuriating to the Stage 4 mentality, and indeed was calculated to be so. C. POSTCONVENTIONAL OR PRINCIPLED MORALITY: Ethical principles STAGE 5: PRIOR RIGHTS AND SOCIAL CONTRACT: Moral action in a specific situation is not defined by reference to a checklist of rules, but from logical application of universal, abstract, moral principles. Individuals have natural or inalienable rights and liberties that are prior to society and must be protected by society. Retributive justice
repudiated. Justice distributed proportionate to circumstances and need. "Situation ethics." The statement, "Justice demands punishment," which is a self-evident truism to the Stage 4 mind, is just as self-evidently nonsense at Stage 5. Retributive punishment is neither rational nor just, because it does not promote the rights and welfare of the individual. Only legal sanctions that fulfill that purpose are imposed-- protection of future victims, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Individual acts out of mutual obligation and a sense of public good. Right action tends to be defined in terms of general individual rights, and in terms of standards that have been critically examined and agreed upon by the whole society--e.g. the Constitution. The freedom of the individual should be limited by society only when it infringes upon someone else's freedom. STAGE 6: UNIVERSAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES: An individual who reaches this stage acts out of universal principles based upon the equality and worth of all human beings. Persons are never means to an end, but are ends in themselves. Having rights means more than individual liberties. It means that every individual is due consideration of his interests in every situation, those interests being of equal importance with ones own. This is the "Golden Rule" model. A list of rules inscribed in stone is no longer necessary. At this level, God is understood to say what is right because it is right; His sayings are not right, just because it is God who said them. Persons at this level have accepted God's invitation to "come and let us reason together". THE FOLLOWING ARE OBSERVATIONS THAT WERE MADE BY KOHLBERG FURTHER EXPLAINING HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN STAGES.
1. STAGE DEVELOPMENT IS INVARIANT.
One must progress through the stages in order, and one cannot get to a higher stage without passing through the stage immediately preceding it. A belief that such a leap into moral maturity is possible is in sharp contrast to the facts of developmental research. Moral development is growth, and like all growth, takes place according to a pre-determined sequence. To expect someone to grow into high moral maturity overnight would be like expecting someone to walk before he crawls.
2. IN STAGE DEVELOPMENT, SUBJECTS CANNOT COMPREHEND MORAL REASONING AT A STAGE MORE THAN ONE STAGE BEYOND THEIR OWN.
If Johnny is oriented to see good almost exclusively as that which brings him satisfaction, how will he understand a concept of good in which the "good" may bring him no tangible pleasure at all. The moral maxim "It is better to give than to receive" reflects a high level of development. The child who honestly asks you why it is better to give than to receive, does so because he does not and cannot understand such thinking. To him, "better" means better for him. And how can it be better for him to give, than to get.
3. IN STAGE DEVELOPMENT INDIVIDUALS ARE COGNITIVELY ATTRACTED TO REASONING ONE LEVEL ABOVE THEIR OWN PRESENT PREDOMINANT LEVEL.
The person has questions and problems the solutions for which are less satisfying at his present level. Since reasoning at one stage higher is intelligible and since it makes more sense and resolves more difficulties, it is more attractive.
For example, two brothers both want the last piece of pie. The bigger, stronger brother will probably get it. The little brother suggests they share it. He is thinking at level two, rather than at level one. The solution for him is more attractive: getting some rather than none. An adult who functions at level one consistently will end up in prison or dead.
4. IN STAGE DEVELOPMENT, MOVEMENT THROUGH THE STAGES IS EFFECTED WHEN COGNITIVE DISEQUILIBRIUM IS CREATED, THAT IS, WHEN A PERSON'S COGNITIVE OUTLOOK IS NOT ADEQUATE TO COPE WITH A GIVEN MORAL DILEMMA.
The person who is growing, will look for more and more adequate ways of solving problems. If he has no problems, no dilemmas, he is not likely to look for solutions. He will not grow morally. In the apple pie example. The big brother, who can just take the pie and get away with it, is less likely to look for a better solution than the younger brother who will get none and probably a beating in the struggle.
5. IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE FOR A HUMAN BEING TO BE PHYSICALLY MATURE BUT NOT MORALLY MATURE.
If a child is spoiled, never having to accommodate for others needs, if he is raised in an environment where level two thinking by others gets the job done, he may never generate enough questions to propel him to a higher level of moral reasoning.
6. KOHLBERG BELIEVED THAT ONLY ABOUT 25% OF PERSONS EVER GROW TO LEVEL SIX, THE MAJORITY REMAINING AT LEVEL FOUR.
The Bible enjoins principles of modesty, humility, and wise stewardship of the money. Application of these principles might preclude the purchase of expensive jewelry, furs, flashy cars, or other items primarily for show. A person functioning at level six would have no problem applying these principles. Persons functioning at a level four on the other hand, might make rules about "jewelry" (in a church for instance) or red dresses, or cosmetics. But they might not even notice a flashy car or the lady who wears a new dress every single week. Those things aren't on the list. If Kohlberg's observation is true, then level 6 thinkers would be in the minority. They might even be misunderstood and persecuted by a level 4 majority (Christ being the primary example). http://www.aggelia.com/htdocs/kohlberg.shtml
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