This assignment will describe and evaluate two theories in developmental psychology. Developmental psychology is the scientific study of changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Firstly looking at Piaget’s Theory, and then followed by Kohlberg, there will be an evaluation of the similarities and differences between the two. It will provide evidence of how Piaget’s and Kohlberg’s theories both suffer from the same criticisms as they both use dilemmas with a particular criteria of a child and culture. The theory only considers a child’s beliefs not its actual behaviour.
Jean Piaget was born in Switzerland. Piaget used children to assess moral development. He did this by giving the children specific games to play, the most popular one being marbles. As he studied, he observed the way the children applied the rules and their reasoning to change the rules. In addition to this he also clinically interviewed children and asked hypothetical questions about lying and cheating. This gave him an insight about how children make decisions and what their beliefs consist of. He also learned how they determined knowing right from wrong. ‘To Piaget children are born with very basic mental structure’ (Simon Ungar 2004)
An example of a story Piaget would give to a child would be; there are two children, one child has been told not to go into the cupboard to get a biscuit, the child does this and knocks over one cup in the process. The other child accidently knocks five plates off the dinner table, as they have walked through the door. Piaget concluded to the three stages shown below based on the children’s opinions from the scenarios such as the above
Piaget hypothesized three stages; Pre Moral, Heteronomous and Autonomous reality.
He believed that the pre moral stage children have no concern or awareness of rules; this is age zero to five years. Piaget then moved on to the Heteronomous stage and here he concentrated on children...