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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
IDENTITY AND MORALS
IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT
• Developmental psychologists continue to disagree on issues of continuity versus discontinuity
and stability versus change.
• Some psychologists argue that adolescents must go through an identity crisis to achieve a
sense of self.
• Examples: Erik Erikson and the crisis of identity formation versus identity confusion, James Marcia’s four
categories of crisis and commitment.
• Other psychologists believe that adolescence is a smooth transition to adulthood, rather than a
time of crisis and stress.
• Examples: A.C. Petersen and the role of external events, Albert Bandura’s social learning theory,
Margaret Mead and the influence of culture.
MORAL DEVELOPMENT
• Lawrence Kohlberg identified three levels of moral development, subdivided into six stages.
• Level I: Preconventional morality – a childlike approach to right and wrong
• Obedience and Punishment (good so you’re not punished)
• Individualism and Exchange (more than one right view)
• Level II: Conventional morality – internalize moral norms, but don’t question it
• Good interpersonal relationships
• Maintaining the Social Order
• Level III: Postconventional morality – not everyone reaches this stange (10-15%)
• Individual Rights (realize it’s not always what’s best for me)
• Universal Principles (you have your own right and wrong, i.e. human rights, justice, inequality)
• Moral development tends to occur in adolescence, when individuals gain the capacity for
formal operations thinking.