Lawrence Kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg (October 25, 1927January 19, 1987) was an American psychologist born in Bronxville, New York, who served as a professor at the University of Chicago as well as Harvard University. Famous for research in moral education, reasoning, and development, he developed stages of moral development. A close follower of Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Kohlberg's work reflects and extends his predecessor's ideas, at the same time creating a new field within psychology: "moral development." Scholars such as Elliot Turiel and James Rest have responded to Kohlberg's work with their own significant contributions. In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Kohlberg was found to be the 30th most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century. [Haggbloom, S.J. et al. (2002). The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century. "Review of General Psychology". Vol. 6, No. 2, 139–15. Haggbloom et al combined 3 quantitative variables: citations in professional journals, citations in textbooks, and nominations in a survey given to members of the Association for Psychological Science, with 3 qualitative variables (converted to quantitative scores): National Academy of Science (NAS) membership, American Psychological Association (APA) President and/or recipient of the APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, and surname used as an eponym. Then the list was rank ordered .]

Early life

Lawrence Kohlberg grew up in a wealthy family and attended Phillips Academy, a renowned private high school, in Andover, Massachusetts. His father, Alfred Kohlberg, was an importer of lace handkerchiefs from China and an ardent supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy. His mother, Charlotte Albrecht, was an amateur chemist who later invented a fireproof coating used on rockets. Larry, or Laurie as he was known as a youth, was the youngest of four children, having one older brother and two older sisters. His parents separated while he was still young. The following divorce was acrimonious with various charges being shot back and forth on the pages of the New York Times.

Following World War II, after finishing his high school education, Kohlberg enlisted in the Merchant Marine and became an oiler on the U.S.S. George Washington. Later he joined the Haganah, and on their ship, the Geula, he and his shipmates transported Jews attempting to escape from Europe to Palestine. They accomplished this by smuggling them in banana crates that were secretly beds, fooling government inspectors that formed the British blockade of the region.Fact|date=December 2007 Kohlberg was captured and interned in Cyprus until escaping.

He married Lucille Stigberg in 1955. They had two sons, David and Steven. He later divorced and was linked with Ann Higgins (D'Alessandro) prior to his suicide in January 1987.

chooling and research

Kohlberg enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1948 and graduated that same year with a bachelor's degree because his test scores were very high. He earned his doctorate degree from University of Chicago in 1958. After attending college, his career started at Yale University. He taught as an associate professor of psychology from 1959-1961.

Kohlberg then taught in 1962 at the University of Chicago in the Committee on Human Development, further extending his time with academia. In 1968, 40 years old and married with two children, he became a professor of education and social psychology at Harvard University. While at Harvard, he met Carol Gilligan, who later became a colleague and critic of his moral development stage theory.

During a visit to Israel in 1969, Kohlberg journeyed to a kibbutz and observed how much more the youths' moral development had progressed compared to those who were not part of kibbutzim. He decided to rethink his current research and start by beginning a new school called the Cluster School within Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. The Cluster School ran as a 'just community' where students had a basic and trustworthy relationship with one another, using democracy to make all the school's decisions. Armed with this model he started similar 'just communities' in other schools and even one in a prison.

tages of Moral Development

In his 1958 dissertation, Kohlberg wrote what are now known as Kohlberg's stages of moral development.cite journal | last=Kohlberg | first=Lawrence | title=The Development of Modes of Thinking and Choices in Years 10 to 16 | journal=Ph. D. dissertation, University of Chicago | year=1958 ] These stages are planes of moral adequacy conceived to explain the development of moral reasoning. Created while studying psychology at the University of Chicago, the theory was inspired by the work of Jean Piaget and a fascination with children's reactions to moral dilemmas.cite book | last=Crain | first=William C. | title=Theories of Development | edition=2Rev Ed | url= | publisher=Prentice-Hall | year=1985 |id=ISBN 0-13-913617-7 ]

His theory holds that moral reasoning, which is the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental constructive stages - each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than the last. In studying these, Kohlberg followed the development of moral judgment far beyond the ages originally studied earlier by Piaget,cite book | last=Piaget | first=Jean | title=The Moral Judgment of the Child | publisher=Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. | location=London | year=1932 |id=ISBN 0-02-925240-7 ] who also claimed that logic and morality develop through constructive stages.cite journal | last=Kohlberg | first=Lawrence | title=The Claim to Moral Adequacy of a Highest Stage of Moral Judgment | journal=Journal of Philosophy | volume=70 | year=1973 | pages=630–646 | doi=10.2307/2025030 ] Expanding considerably upon this groundwork, it was determined that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice and that its development continued throughout the lifespan, even spawning dialogue of philosophical implications of such research.cite book |last=Kohlberg |first=Lawrence |title= Essays on Moral Development, Vol. I: The Philosophy of Moral Development |publisher=Harper & Row |Location=San Francisco, CA |year=1981 |id=ISBN 0-06-064760-4 ] cite book | last=Kohlberg | first=Lawrence | authorlink=Lawrence Kohlberg | coauthors=Charles Levine, Alexandra Hewer | title=Moral stages : a current formulation and a response to critics | publisher=Karger | location=Basel, NY | year=1983 |id=ISBN 3-8055-3716-6]

Kohlberg was interested in how people would justify their actions if they were put in a moral dilemma, so he used stories about them in his studies. He would then categorize and classify evoked responses into one of six distinct stages, each grouped into three levels: pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional.cite book |last=Kohlberg |first=Lawrence |title= From "Is" to "Ought": How to Commit the Naturalistic Fallacy and Get Away with It in the Study of Moral Development |publisher=Academic Press |Location=New York |year=1971 ] cite book |last=Kohlberg |first=Lawrence | coauthors=T. Lickona, ed. |title=Moral Development and Behavior: Theory, Research and Social Issues |publisher=Rinehart and Winston |Location=Holt, NY |year=1976 |chapter= Moral stages and moralization: The cognitive-developmental approach ] cite book |last=Colby |first=Anne | coauthors=Kohlberg, L. |title=The Measurement of Moral Judgment Vol. 2: Standard Issue Scoring Manual |publisher=Cambridge University Press |year=1987 | id=ISBN 0-521-24447-1] These stages heavily influenced others and has been utilized by others like James Rest in making the "Defining Issues Test" in 1979.


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  • Lawrence Kohlberg — (* 25. Oktober 1927 in Bronxville, New York; † 19. Januar 1987[1]) war ein US amerikanischer Psychologe und Professor für Erziehungswissenschaft an der Harvard University School of Education. Kohlberg begründete eine Theorie, die die moralische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lawrence Kohlberg — (25 octobre 1927 à Bronxville (New York) – 19 janvier 1987) est un psychologue américain qui enseigna à l université de Chicago ainsi qu à Harvard. Selon un classement de Haggbloom et al, il fait partie des 30 psychologues les plus importants du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lawrence Kohlberg — (25 de octubre de 1927 19 de enero de 1987). Psicólogo estadounidense. Obtuvo en Chicago el título de “Bachelor of Arts” y el doctorado en filosofía. En 1958 presentó su tesis doctoral acerca del desarrollo del juicio moral. Prestó servicios de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development — constitute an adaptation of a psychological theory originally conceived of by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. Kohlberg began work on this topic while a psychology postgraduate student at the University of Chicago,[1] and expanded and… …   Wikipedia

  • Kohlberg's stages of moral development — are planes of moral adequacy conceived by Lawrence Kohlberg to explain the development of moral reasoning. Created while studying psychology at the University of Chicago, the theory was inspired by the work of Jean Piaget and a fascination with… …   Wikipedia

  • Kohlberg — heißen die Orte Kohlberg (Württemberg) im Landkreis Esslingen, Baden Württemberg Kohlberg (Oberpfalz) im Landkreis Neustadt an der Waldnaab, Bayern Kohlberg (Steiermark) in der Steiermark Kohlberg (Deggendorf), Ortsteil der Stadt Deggendorf,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kohlberg — is the name of four municipalities *Kohlberg, Baden Württemberg in the district Esslingen, Germany *Kohlberg, Bavaria in the district Neustadt (Waldnaab), Germany *Kohlberg (Pirna), in Saxony *Kohlberg, Styria in Styria, AustriaKohlberg was the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kohlberg — El término de origen germánico Kohlberg o Kolberg (a veces, Colberg) puede hacer referencia a: Lugares La ciudad alemana de Kohlberg, Baden Württemberg, en el distrito de Esslingen; La ciudad polaca de Kołobrzeg, en el Voivodato de Pomerania… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kohlberg — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Patronymie Benny Kohlberg (nè le 17 avril 1954) est un ancien fondeur suédois. Lawrence Kohlberg (25 octobre 1927 à Bronxville (New York) – 19 janvier… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kohlberg —   [ kəʊlbəːg], Lawrence, amerikanischer Sozialpsychologe und Pädagoge, * Bronxville (N. Y.) 25. 10. 1927, ✝ (ertrunken) Massachusetts Bay 5./6. 4. 1987; seit 1959 Professor an der Yale University, ab 1962 in Chicago (Illinois), seit 1968 an der… …   Universal-Lexikon

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