Gilligan, Kohlberg, and Piagetian: The Stages of Development

There are a total of three theories that explain the different stages of development.  Piagetian Stages of Cognitive Development show that reasoning skills are noticed over time and begin with small age groups up to around age 12.  Piaget’s theory is a lot like Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. Both have specific age ranges and are based on cognitive centered development.  Both theories are also very male centered and moral development is developed after a conflict.

The second theory, Kohlberg has a larger age range for its members.  Kohlberg also found out that the decisions people made in his theory were egocentric or self centered.  Gilligan and Kohlberg named their three stages preconventional, conventional, and postconventional.

Gilligan combines the theories of Freud, Kohlberg, and Piaget to form her own. Gilligan has some transitional stages and she also includes females in her experiments. 

All three theories seem to focus on the fact that humans develop in stages. Gilligan focused on the main stages as well as the key transition stages.  Although all people develop differently, men develop at a slower rate than women.  When mentioning that statement, she is speaking of the rate of maturity. 


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