The Internal Dilemma A look into Kohlberg and Gilligan Brad Charbonneau Marcus DeBruno
Background • Born 1927, Bronxville, NY. • Andover Academy in MA • Helped Israeli cause with refugees • 1948, attended University of Chicago • Graduate work at University of Chicago • Taught at Chicago and Harvard
Background Cont. • Foundation based on Piaget • Moral reasoning in young children • 6 stages of Moral Reasoning
Stages of Moral Reasoning • Level 1: Preconventional • Stage 1: Punishment and Reward • Stage 2: Hedonism/Reciprocity • Level 2: Conventional • Stage 3: Good boy/Bad girl • Stage 4: Rules of Society • Level 3: Postconventional • Stage 5: Individual Rights • Stage 6: Universal Principles
Preconventional: Stage 1 Moral reasoning is based on laws and punishments from authority figures.
Preconventional: Stage 2 Moral reasoning is based on reciprocity. Help others because it benefits us, “scratch my back, I scratch yours”.
Conventional: Stage 3 Moral reasoning is based on good interpersonal relationships.
Conventional: Stage 4 Moral reasoning based on well-being of all and maintaining a social order.
Postconventional: Stage 5 Moral reasoning is concerned with individual moral rights within social contract.
Postconventional: Stage 6 Moral reasoning is based on universal principles of justice. Considering others perspectives.
Our thoughts We believe that age and gender will not be a significant factor in moral stage placement. Boys and girls, in respects to their ages, will be placed in similar moral reasoning stages.
Procedure for Data Collection • The study consisted of 40 participants from a 3rd grade class and a 7th grade class. • The answers were recorded on the surveys using pencil and paper. • Several of the younger students had questions for further explanation of the questions and/or dilemma. • Misunderstanding of drug.
Dilemma 1 • In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist is the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging 10 times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $400 for the radium and charged $4,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000, which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” So having tried every legal means, Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife.
Questions • 1. Should Heinz steal the drug, Yes or No? ______ • Why or why not? • 2. Is it actually right or wrong for him to steal the drug, Yes or No? ______ • Why or why not? • 3. Suppose the person dying is not his wife but a stranger. Should Heinz steal the drug for the stranger, Yes or No? ______ • Why or why not?
Sample Responses • No, "Because he has to obey the laws he could be charged and payed a fine" – Participant 1, age 8, Male, Score: 1 • Yes, "He should because the wife is dying and he is caring about her and how she feels" – Participant 8, age 8, Female, Score: 3 • No, "Heinz should not because stealing is wrong. Another thing is that death is part of life. If Heinz's wife dies he would be sad. If his wife goes to Heaven and he goes to Heaven then he will see her again." – Participant 4, age 8, Male, Score: 4
More Responses • Yes, "He married his wife and made the vow to help them in illness so he should do everything possible to help his wife" - 23, age 12, Male, Score: 5 • No, "Because it might be a bad drug" – Participant 3, age 8, Male • Misunderstanding of the term “drug.” • No, "Because it is not good to have drugs" – Participant 11, age 9, Male • Misunderstanding of the term “drug.”
Dilemma 2 • Heinz did break into the store. He stole the drug and gave it to his wife. In the newspapers the next day there was an account of the robbery. Mr. Brown, a police officer who knew Heinz, read the account. He remembered seeing Heinz running away from the store and realized that it was Heinz who stole the drug. Mr. Brown wonders whether he should report that Heinz was the robber.
Questions • 4. Should Officer Brown report Heinz for stealing, Yes or No? _____ • Why or why not? • 5. Suppose Officer Brown were a close friend of Heinz; should he then report him, Yes or No? _____ • Why or why not?
Dilemma 3 • Joe is a 14-year old boy who wanted to go to camp very much. His father promised him he could go if he saved up the money for it himself. So Joe worked hard at his paper route and saved up the $100 it cost to go to camp and a little more besides. But just before camp was going to start, his father changed his mind. Some of his friends decided to go on a special fishing trip, and Joe’s father was short of the money it would cost. So he told Joe to give him the money had had saved from the paper route. Joe didn’t want to give up going to camp, so he thinks of refusing to give his father the money.
Questions • 6. Should Joe refuse to give his father the money, Yes or No? _____ • Why or why not? • 7. Does the father have the right to tell Joe to give him the money, Yes or No? _____ • Why or why not?
Sample Answers • "He is his father and he should have the right" – Participant 5, age 8, Female, Score: 3 • "Once again, Joe worked hard for the money and should receive the price for his labor" – Participant 35, age 13, Female, Score: 4
Evaluating the Data • Two participants decided not to participate in the study. • There were 20 participants ages eight and nine and 18 participants ages 12, 13, and 14. • In order to keep the names of the participants confidential, they were labeled individually 1-38. • The researchers divided the survey into the three main dilemmas and determined the overall reasoning scores of morality for each one.
Research Findings • In regard to the overall modes of morality scores for each participant, the older children generally scored higher on their levels of reasoning. • The levels of reasoning for males versus females were slightly different, but overall were similar and consistent with the age of the participant.
Implications • Discipline: If a parent can understand how his or her child reasons morality, he or she will know how to best discipline his or her child. • Education: By identifying the times that one develops morally, an educator may help a student further his or her development. • Example: Teaching Civics or Government
Limitations • Sample size was only 38 people. • Many students in the third grade skipped or misunderstood certain questions. • The second question, “Is it actually right or wrong for him to steal the drug, Yes or No?” appeared confusing to many students. • A few minor grammatical errors in the survey. • The survey was not timed, and some students thought long and deliberately about certain questions.
Suggestions for Future Research • Evaluate the moral reasoning ability of teenagers in high-school, young adults, middle-aged adults, or older adults. • Determine a better system for measuring differences in moral reasoning between males and females. • “justice” versus “care” orientation • Compare different lawyers’ moral reasoning ability to that of another profession, such as medical doctors. • There may be differences in how the people from these careers view justice in relation to law and the human person.