Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

What are Kohlberg’s stages of moral development?

Kohlberg divided moral development into three levels: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. Each level contains two stages for a total of six stages altogether. Kohlberg believed that all children go through the same sequence of stages in the same order. A fair amount of research supports this view for the first two levels of moral development. The scientific evidence for the third level, however, is less robust. Kohlberg was also interested in moral reasoning in adults. Indeed, research has shown that different adults are characterized by different stages of moral development.


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