Adolescent Psychology, Moral Development


I. Introduction

1. What problem/issue are you addressing (moral development)? Introduce the concept with 1-3 general sentences describing the nature of the issue, what we presently know about it, or why it’s an important topic to discuss in adolescent development. Lead into the project you’ve just conducted by demonstrating with words how the project relates to the concept. (e.g., to investigate developmental differences in memory, I conducted an experiment using digit span with two subjects).

II. Description of study

1. Setting: where did it take place? If viewing a video or TV, describe when you completed your viewing.

2. Subjects: Where did you find them? How did you elicit their support?

3. Description of subjects: age, general demeanor (e.g., were they happy and excited to help you, or were they disinterested? Bored? Etc.)

4. Description of experiment: What did you say? Do? What did the subject respond? Give the approximate time the subject took to complete the experiment, if appropriate.

III. Findings

1. What were the results? Specify the quantity, if appropriate (e.g., 3 subjects selected moral quotes that were at the stage 3 level; 2 were at the stage 4 level, etc.). Be sure to provide a TABLE of your results, so the reader can easily identify your data.

2. Report the data you collected in a table. Additionally, be sure to discuss these findings in this section of the paper. For example, you might say, “As summarized in the table, the younger subject reported that she performed well in all her classes, while the older subject reported only a fair performance in the majority (80%) of his classes, performing poorly in 20%.”

3. Indicate if the results were consistent with the theory you are investigating (e.g., as suggested by other research, males in this study were more likely to report that they interacted in larger groups than did females; etc.)

IV. Summary and evaluation

1. Summarize your results and relate them back to the original purpose of the paper (e.g., The purpose of this paper was to investigate memory span in early and late adolescence. These findings suggest that older adolescents can remember more digits than can younger adolescents).

2. Discuss any problems with your results. For example, you may cite the small sample size, subjects who were uncooperative or uninvolved in the project, etc.

3. If appropriate, suggest another way that you might further investigate your subject. Most psychological research ends with some suggestions for additional research, and note any ideas that you have to further explore the subject matter.

Research Project 6: Moral Development Quotes (Chapter 7, Moral Development)

Subjects: 12 college students (6 male and 6 female)

This project is a short survey to see if individuals rank moral reasoning similarly to Kohlberg’s six stages. Choose one of the following quotes from each of the stages as marked in parentheses. Write each quote on a file card (do NOT place the stage number on the card and leave off the name of the author), and label each quote randomly by alphabetical letter. Find twelve college students who are willing to rank the quotes from highest moral reasoning to lowest moral reasoning. Compare their answers to Kohlberg’s. Also ask each subject to pick out the quote that best reflects his/her own moral beliefs.

The point is to get into heaven by hook or crook. – Denis Diderot (1)

Every disorder of the soul is its own punishment. –Saint Augustine (1)

No person in the world ever attempted to wrong another without being injured in return—some way, somehow, sometime. – William George Jordan (1)

There are two ways of paying and we have a choice. One is service and the other is suffering. –Isabel M. Hickey (1)

Too much of a good thing is wonderful! –Mae West (2)

Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me and which truly expresses me? This I think is perhaps the most important question for the creative individual. –Carol Rogers (2)

What is moral is what you feel good after. –Ernest Hemingway (2)

I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches. –Alice Roosevelt Longworth (2)

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console…to be understood as to understand…to be loved as to love…for it is in giving that we receive…it is in pardoning that we are pardoned –St. Francis of Assisi (3)

What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others. –Confucius (3)

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. –Ralph Waldo Emerson (3)

Make yourself a blessing to someone. –Carmelia Eliot (3)

Karmic, cosmic justice will be done. Maybe not in the short run, seemingly, but in the long run, definitely. –Shirley MacLaine (4)

It may make a difference to all eternity whether we do right or wrong today. –Arthur Clarke (4)

My country right or wrong. –Anonymous (4)

This thing must be put bluntly: every man who has more than is necessary for his livelihood and that of his family, and for the normal development of his intelligence, is a thief and a robber. If he has too much, it means that others have too little. –Romain Rolland (5)

Morality is the observance of the rights of others. –Dagobert D. Runes (5)

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. –Karl Marx (5)

Be compassionate. The universality of evil makes human compassion necessary. –Rollo May (5)

We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. –George Bernard Shaw (5)

Treat all men alike. Give them all the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. –Chief Joseph (6)

A world at peace will be one where the rights of every human being—dignity, liberty, and the basic rights of education and health care—will be respected. –Kris Kristofferson (6)

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. –Robert F. Kennedy (6)

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable: that all men are created equal and independent. –Thomas Jefferson (6)

I had to make do with my own truth, not accept from others what I could not attain on my own. –C. G. Jung (6)

Sometimes you have to go above the written law. –Fawn Hall (6)

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” –Galations 5:14 (6)

To cling to the principles of the Judeo-Christian ethic—honesty, integrity, compassion, love, ideas of hope, charity, humility—is an integral part of any person’s life no matter what his position in life may be. –Jimmy Carter (6)

This is what you should do: love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people. –Walt Whitman (6)

I think we all have moral obligations to obey just laws. On the other hand, I think we have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws because non-cooperation with evil is just as much a moral obligation as cooperation with good. –Martin Luther King, Jr. (6)

When you write up your summary, address the following questions:

1. Why did you pick the quotes that you did? Did you think your choices influenced the results?

2. Provide a TABLE of your results. Indicate the ranking of quotes by each of your subjects, and indicate which quote they selected as representative of their moral reasoning.
3. How closely did the subjects reflect Kohlberg’s hierarchy? Did any of your subjects rank the quotes in the same order as Kohlberg? Don’t be surprised if no one ranks them as Kohlberg would.
4. Some research findings suggest that Kohlberg’s six stages are more typical of male morality than female morality. Were your male subjects more accurate in their ability to correctly order the quotes than your female subjects?
5. Gilligan’s research suggests that females choose caring morality over justice morality, and that males prefer the reverse. Examine the quote chosen as most reflective of each subject’s highest morality. Were the males more likely to choose stage 4, and the females stage 3? If you average the single choice of your male and your female subjects, do the males have a higher average than the females?
6. Do you agree with Kohlberg’s ranking of moral development? If you were a subject in this research, what quotation would you choose?

PLEASE BE SURE that the following are complete in the paper:

– Introduction & Importance to development
– Subject Description
– Method used: choosing quotes; notecards/survey
– Results of study
-Data table
-Discussion: gender differences? Criticisms; support for Kohlberg
– Personal moral development stand