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Describe and Evaluate Any Two Theories in Developmental Psychology. (Moral Development.) Essay

  • Submitted by: shilo16
  • on February 6, 2013
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,215 words

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Below is an essay on "Describe and Evaluate Any Two Theories in Developmental Psychology. (Moral Development.)" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Describe and evaluate any two theories in developmental psychology. (moral development.)

The social Learning Theory states children’s behaviours can be influenced through ‘Observational learning’.   Albert Bandura (1977, cited Gross 1996) believed that children of all ages developed a moral understanding of right and wrong by observing and imitating models that had a social connection to the child for example, parent, sibling or anyone the child may admire.
However Jean Piaget (1932) believed that children’s moral development was based on the cognitive processes, and therefore conducted several studies to generate a better understanding of a child’s thought process and how that effected there moral judgment.

Unlike Bandura who’s research did not focus much on age, Piaget, as a result of his research, divided children into three age brackets, he believed children aged 0-5 years old were in a ‘Premoral Stage’ and therefore had very little or no moral judgement, 5-9/10 year olds were in a stage of ‘Heteronomous Morality’ or ‘Moral Realism’ and showed signs of moral judgement, and finally children ages 10 years and over were in a stage of ‘Autonomous Morality’ or ‘Moral relativism’ and showed signs of significant development in moral reasoning (cited Gross 1996, pg.693).

Piaget’s first stage of moral reasoning ‘Heteronomous Morality’ is defined as children believing that rules are made by an external source and can not be broken under any circumstances.

One of Piaget’s studies, his marbles study (1932) suggests that children in the heteronomous morality believe that if you break the rules you must then be punished. There would be immanent justice either from an adult or another external source and if you were not punished at the time of the crime you would be punished later by an external source, for example adult, the police or God. This was described as having a unilateral respect for rules.  

Piaget’s study with moral stories (1932, cited in...

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