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Lawrence Kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg was a distinguished psychologist. He was well known for developing the theory about the stages of moral development. Born on October 25th, 1927, he graduated from University of Chicago. He identified his area of interest in moral development despite the fact that it was a rare subject to study and research in that era. His area of interest created a new field of psychology known as moral development. He started his career by teaching at Yale University as an assistant professor.

Lawrence Kohlberg major works comprised of the theory of moral development. This theory was developed through an inspiration by the works of Jean Piaget. Kohlberg created this theory while studying at the University of Chicago for his bachelor’s degree. His contribution to the field of psychology took him in the league of the most renowned psychologists that the 20th century has produced. That league comprised of 30 most prominent psychologists of the 20th century. The works of Lawrence Kohlberg were responded and supported by the greatest scholars of his time such as James Rest and Elliot Turiel through their valuable contributions. Kohlberg started off his academic career as an assistant professor with Yale University. He worked there from the time period of 1958 to 1961. After that, he joined the University of Chicage as an assistant in the psychology department. He spent one year working as an assistant and then he was appointed as an associate professor for teaching social psychology and education. He wrote a thesis on his findings for the research on the stages of moral development. This research is entitled as Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. The theories proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg is based on the evolution of moral reasoning. His thesis was inspired by the works by Jean Piaget as well as the behavior dilemmas faced by children. According to the theory of moral development, the purpose of education should be to nurture and develop minds.

Lawrence Kohlberg developed his theory on the basis of the assumption that human beings are internally motivated to learn and broaden their horizons by experiencing through the environment they interact with on a daily basis. This phenomenon is known as social development. According to Kohlberg’s  theory, there are certain common patterns observed in the society that constitutes the general social life of the peer groups, families as well as decision making and cooperation for sustenance and mutual defense. Humans in a particular society maintain the same  cognitive patterns and action based activities to maintain and develop the society individually and collectively. These common patterns of social behavior also play a significant role in maintaining fruitful relations with others in the society. Moreover, the experience of each others in the society also motivates them to accept their roles and function smoothly with the society. Eventually Kohlberg frimly embedded the idea that moral development can be incorporated effectively in the society through moral reasoning. He developed six stages of moral development that addressed to the varying levels of ethical behavior in the society. Kohlberg died on January 19th,1987.

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