Lawrence Kohlberg is one of the modern psychologists whose major work is that of the stages of moral development. His work was different from the rest of the modern theorists of psychology as he dealt with the moral aspects of a person as a ways to determine his or her level of development. His work was believed to be highly influenced by another modern psychologist Jean Piaget whose work dealt with the cognitive development stages of children. Little is documented about the life of Kohlberg. He studied psychology in the University of Chicago where he also finished his thesis on moral development stages in 1958. He died at the age of 60 in 1987. It was speculated that he committed suicide.
In his stages of moral development, Kohlberg explained that there are six stages of moral development that are grouped into three major categories that must be completed by an individual so that he or she can enter another stage of development. As compared to his other contemporaries, Kohlberg focused on how children and adult moral reasoning develop. The stages of moral development as discussed in Kohlberg’s dissertation are pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional. He believed that an individual’s moral thinking progresses from one stage to another higher stage. However, Kohlberg explained that very few people reach the highest stage. Unlike other theories with concrete age range, Kohlberg did not deal with age span but more on the determination of the moral stage a person is into no matter what age range he or she belongs.