Kohlberg Moral Dilemmas Example Essay

Kohlberg Moral Dilemmas Example Essay
Kohlberg Moral Dilemmas
Kohlberg moral dilemmas were presented to him during his study. He wanted to discover how people decide what is wrong and right. Kohlberg developed a theory of moral development and suggested that moral reasoning goes through six stages from childhood to adulthood. This Kohlberg Moral Dilemmas Example Essay explains Kohlberg’s moral development, moral dilemma, types, and examples.
What is Kohlberg’s moral dilemma? How would you describe Kohlberg’s theory of moral development?
Lawrence Kohlberg was interested to know how people decide what is right and what is wrong. To investigate, he read a story of a man who is trying to get an expensive drug that his wife needs to treat her cancer. He begs the pharmacist to reduce the price, but the pharmacist refuses.
The man has no money and decides to steal the medicine. Kohlberg was interested in finding out how the man came to that decision. He suggested that people improve in moral reasoning according to their ethical behavior. Kohlberg’s theory focuses on how children develop moral reasoning. He suggests that moral logic focuses on seeking and maintaining justice.
What is Kohlberg’s theory of moral development essay?
Moral development is the development of the distinction between right and wrong and reasoning. Lawrence Kohlberg, an American psychologist, developed a theory addressing some questions. He focused on how children built moral reasoning by extending Piaget’s theory and suggested that moral development is continuous.
Kohlberg’s theory of moral development can help parents guide their children as they build their characters. Parents with little children can use rule abeyance and teach older children about social expectations. A teacher can apply Kohlberg’s theory in the classroom by providing moral guidance.
A kindergarten teacher can enhance moral development by setting rules for the school and consequences for violating rules which helps kids develop stage one or morals. A high school teacher can focus on developing interpersonal relationships and maintaining social order. The teacher can accomplish moral development by setting rules in the classroom and giving the students better ideas.
What are Kohlberg’s stages of moral development?
Kohlberg developed a theory of moral development and suggested that moral reasoning goes through six stages from childhood to adulthood. The stages are distinguished into three levels; pre-conventional, convectional, and post-convectional. Each stage includes a more advanced level that advances with life experience.
The following are stages of moral development in this Kohlberg Moral Dilemmas Example Essay;

Obedience and punishment attitude

Morality is controlled at the pre-convectional level, and rules are followed to avoid punishment. This level contains the idea that what is right is personally satisfying or one can get away. Children are shaped by adults’ expectations and obey rules to avoid consequences.
Stage one claims that consequences determine behavior. At this stage, children obey the rules to avoid punishment. According to Kohlberg, people see rules as absolute and fixed, and obeying rules is a way to avoid punishment.

Instrumental attitude

The instrumental stage claims that consequences determine behavior. Children obey rules to satisfy personal needs or receive rewards.

The good girl/ good boy attitude

At the conventional level, rules remain essential to a person. A person supports rules set by others, such as peers, parents, and the government, to maintain social order. Adults analyze the moral standards they have learned from society. The focus changes from self-interest to relationships with social systems and other people.
At this stage, behavior is influenced by social approval and developing excellent interpersonal relationships. A person wants to win or maintain expectations of others of being a good person.

Law and order attitude

At this stage, behavior is determined by social laws. A person considers a larger perspective than that of societal laws. You may assume that laws maintain social order and decision-making becomes more of a close tie. The aim is to maintain laws by respecting authority, doing your duty, and following rules.

Social contract attitude

At post-convectional level, an individual focus beyond their society. Morality is based on principles and values that apply to all societies and situations.
At this stage, behavior is determined by individual rights. A person’s rules and laws improve human purpose. There are exceptions to rules given the right situation. When laws are inconsistent with the majority’s interests and rights, they do not bring good to people, and the alternatives must be considered.

Universal ethical principle

According to Kohlberg, the universal ethical principle stage is the highest functioning stage; some people do not reach this level. At this stage, action is determined by ethical principles of conscience, which are universal in application. The reasoning includes taking every person’s perspectives that the decision could impact.
What is meant by a moral dilemma?
A moral dilemma is deciding on two or more ethical values and taking action you will violate other moral principles. It involves a choice, action, or decision that may involve an uncomfortable situation in which it is hard to decide what to do. A moral dilemma is a situation where you have two or more actions from which you can perform, or there is a moral reason for choosing each action.
In a moral dilemma, you cannot perform all of the actions, and you have to choose one. No matter your choice, you will fail to follow your morals. There are moral reasons for choosing an action and moral reasons for not.
What are the three types of morals?
Below are three types of morals;


Metaethics help an individual determine what is moral. To make an informed decision, you should answer these questions; What are moral values? Do moral facts exist, is morality universal, and what does it mean with good or right?

Normative ethics

Normative ethics involves the appropriate standards for wrong and right behavior. The normative ethical approach includes virtue ethics, deontological, and consequentialist theories.

Applied ethics

Applied ethics includes morals that arise in private or public life. Applied ethics issues include stem cell research, abortion, animal treatment, etc.
What is an example of individual moral dilemma?
You are on a sinking ship with your mother and daughter. You have a lifeboat, but it can only hold two of you. The person who does not get on the lifeboat will drown. Who will you put on the lifeboat?
You can find a case of fight or bullying in which you can intervene in various ways. You can also encounter a homeless person and be in a dilemma of whether to help them. Professionally, a judge may be faced with the dilemma of whether to send someone to prison or not. A doctor can be in the dilemma of whether to lengthen someone’s life artificially. Kohlberg Moral Dilemmas Example Essay.
What are the types of moral dilemmas?
You may find yourself in different types of ethical dilemmas, which may vary in their level of specialty. The following are types of dilemmas;

Ontological moral dilemma

The options of the ontological moral dilemma are equal to their moral consequences. The options and consequences are on the same ethical level, and a person cannot choose between the two.

Epistemic moral dilemma

The dilemma involves two conflicting choices, and you don’t know which is moral or ethical. You will need more knowledge about the two to make a decision.

Self-imposed moral dilemma

A self-imposed dilemma is a situation caused by an individual’s mistakes or actions. The dilemma can cause problems when making a decision.

World-imposed moral dilemma

World-imposed dilemmas are situations that you can’t control, creating moral conflict. You have to resolve the dilemma even if the cause is beyond your control, for example, in times of war.

Obligation moral dilemma

In an obligation dilemma, you feel responsible for carrying more than one choice. You feel you are supposed to do an action from a legal standpoint.

Prohibition moral dilemmas

Prohibition is the opposite of obligatory. The dilemma is you must choose between prohibited options. Your choices are illegal or immoral, but you have to choose one.
What are the 4 types of moral dilemmas?
Below are four types of moral dilemmas;

Hypothetical dilemma

A hypothetical dilemma puts a person in a situation that is unlikely to happen in real life.

Open dilemma

An open dilemma is where all situations related to a dilemma are presented. The person in that dilemma is supposed to choose how to proceed.

Closed dilemma

In a closed dilemma, the person involved should evaluate the protagonist’s performance and not decide what to do.

Complete dilemma

The person involved in a complete dilemma is informed of the consequences of each option that can be taken.
What are some examples of moral dilemmas?
The following are examples of moral dilemmas;

Tram dilemma

A train runs out of control on a track. Five people are tied on the road and will die if the train reaches them. You have a chance to deviate the vehicle to another road, but there is a person tied. So it’s either you divert the train and kill one person or not and let five people die. What would you do?
You can easily complicate choices in this dilemma. For example, you can stop the tram, but there is a risk that all people will die. If you divert the train, there is one person who will die. But what if this person is your child, mother, or brother?

Prisoners dilemma

Two alleged criminals are arrested and locked together, claiming to be involved in a bank robbery. There is no evidence of any of them in the involvement, but they have a penalty of 10 years. The possibility of going free is exposing the other. If they confess both, they will have six years in prison.
If one provides evidence, he will be free, and the other who dies will be sentenced to 10 years. If both deny it, they will remain in prison for a year. In this case, the result depends on the performance of others.

The noble thief

You witness a man robbing a bank but giving money to an orphanage that lacks resources to support children who live there. You can report the thief, but the orphanage will have to return the money which they were to use to feed the kids. The thief has committed a crime, but on the other hand, he has done it for a good purpose. What do you do? The dilemma can be more complicated if a person dies during the robbery.
What are the 3 levels of ethical decision-making?
The following are levels of ethical decision-making;


At the consequential level, focus on the consequences of an action and the people who will be affected. While deciding, consider the activities that will have the best results.


Consider the duties and obligations that you have in a situation and ethical obligations. Ethical duties are doing the right thing and performing the correct action. If an action is ethically correct, it will apply to every person in the situation. You should act ethically even if the result is bad.


At the virtue level, identify the character traits that can motivate you in a certain situation. Think about the kind of a person you should be and what a virtuous person would do in a similar situation. While making decisions develop similar virtues and good character to make a good decision.
Wrap up
During his research on moral reasoning, Lawrence Kohlberg presented Kohlberg moral dilemmas to determine how people decide what is wrong and right. He focused on how children built moral reasoning by extending Piaget’s theory and suggested that moral development is continuous and changes as we grow. You may find yourself in different types of ethical dilemmas, which may vary in their level of specialty. This blog will help you make ethical decisions when in a dilemma.


Essays Assignment Help

We are a professional paper writing website. If you have searched a question and bumped into our website just know you are in the right place to get help in your coursework. We offer HIGH QUALITY & PLAGIARISM FREE Papers.

How It Works

To make an Order you only need to click on “Order Now” and we will direct you to our Order Page. Fill Our Order Form with all your assignment instructions. Select your deadline and pay for your paper. You will get it few hours before your set deadline.

Are there Discounts?

All new clients are eligible for upto 20% off in their first Order. Our payment method is safe and secure. Hire a tutor today CLICK HERE to make your first order

Order your Assignment today and save 15% with the discount code ESSAYHELP