Friday, March 24, 2017

Moral development

Continuing this post, let's look at developmental psychology. Magical, mythical, concrete and abstract thinking are levels of increasing development in the process of growing up. One of the earliest of these models was Maslow's hierarchy of needs. They correlate effectively with what we've been talking about. It answers the earlier question about loyalty. While the needs are retained the further one develops, they are also transformed into a larger context. Hence the sort of loyalty based on fear or safety issues might indeed be more loyal in the sense of dependence, like a child. It's true more developed loyalty is more abstract and 'aloof', where a greater negotiating reciprocation beyond childish needs is required.

Here's a Ph.D. dissertation from one who studies such development. From the abstract:

"Studies based on Kohlberg's stages of moral development have concluded that liberals tend to operate within higher principled stages of moral reasoning, while conservatives operate within lower conventional levels. [... Our] findings did support the notion that the test items were measuring [Kohlberg's] moral reasoning levels."

The work did not find a correlation between those levels and political affiliation though. They did find a correlation between education, family income and religiousity with liberal and conservative political leanings. I'd argue that the more education and income, the more opportunity to morally develop. The less of those factors and the more religion the opposite.

Also note that Haidt's work was a negative reaction to Kohlberg and Piaget's developmentalism.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.