Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development

Kohlberg’s theory of moral development builds upon the ideas of Jean Piaget, and takes into account the evolving cognitive abilities and social experiences of individuals. Kohlberg differentiates between three levels and six stages of moral development. The first level is preconventional morality, which has two stages; obedience/avoiding punishment, and individualism. The second level, conventional morality, is concerned with interpersonal relationships and the maintaining of an existing social order. The last and most advanced level is postconventional morality, with stages concerning social contracts and individual rights, as well as universal moral principles.