Kohlberg's Conundrums

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During the course of our lifetimes I'm sure we've all been asked a question to which there is no true right or wrong answer. Lawrence Kohlberg asked quite a few of these questions over the course of his lifetime to different age groups. But he didn't ask these questions to stump his participants. Kohlberg wanted to know how and why people think the way they do.

Kohlberg Picture.jpg

However his work wasn't perfect. There are a few criticisms of his work. Even one of his own students, Carol Gilligan thought that his studies weren't perfect. Gilligan's main gripe was that the questions favored males. Because it is generally accepted that males are more justice-orientated and females are more caring orientated, Gilligan thought that Kohlberg's test made it appear that females were okay with stealing or breaking other laws, when in reality they cared more about the dying wife. However, according to the textbook, there has been little evidence to confirm these beliefs that men score higher on Kohlberg's tests.

Overall situations like the one Kohlberg presented his subjects are a true lose-lose situation. I know when I read the story I couldn't come up with a definite answer myself. Every answer I came up with ended with "yeah, but...". What does everybody else think?


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I would like to know what is with the dying wife. The graph drew me in but I was somewhat confused by the blog. I wish you would have explained the experiment a little bit.

I agree that picking an answer to those kinds of questions are very hard. I guess I would be able to justify either option, but choosing one is a very difficult thing to do, just as the real life situation would be.

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This page contains a single entry by hendr757 published on April 1, 2012 9:12 PM.

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