A moral development theory : a synthesis from selected moral development theories, a spiral progression model of human development, and ego-state personality theory Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fn107249x

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  • Controversy regarding moral development research has given rise to a proliferation of theories competing for acceptance. For all these researchers, the work of Lawrence Kohlberg is the pivot point for comparisons, contrasts, and discussions. Still, no theories to date adequately describe and document a theoretically complete conception of moral judgment and behavior. The contention in this thesis is that Kohlberg's moral development theory should remain the base-camp for further exploration but concepts from the past as well as new components from other fields should be added to construct a better model of human moral thinking and behaving. This thesis formulates a comprehensive and more adequate moral development theory which fits existing data. Pertinent aspects of past and present moral theories are summarized. Theories are evaluated in light of knowledge gained from past thinkers and recent research. Inadequacies are discussed. New pieces from psychological personality theories are presented to replace the normally accepted concept of a unitary ego theory. A more realistic model of growth as a spiral development process is presented. This spiral model allows features of the invariant stage sequence and step-wise hierarchial development process, critical to Piaget's cognitive development theory and to Kohlberg's justice-oriented moral development theory, to exist while couched in a broader growth process that encompasses the pertinent additional features of other researchers' works. The newly constructed theory is presented. Documented case materials and portions of counseling sessions are used to show some adequacy-of-fit of aspects of this theory.
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