According to Lawrence Kohlberg (1969), who based his theory of moral development on the ideas of Jean Piaget, children pass through six development stages of moral reasoning, with each stage in the sequence growing out of its predecessor.
Kohlbeg's six stages form three basic levels of moral judgement. In the first, preconventional level (stages 1 and 2), the child judges moves issues in terms of pain or pleasure or of the physical power of authority. At the second conventional level (stages 3 and 4), the child - --- adult, because most adults reason on the conventional level - decides moral issues in terms of maintaining the social order and meeting the expectations of others. At the highest, post - conventional level (stages 5 and 6), the person judges mora issues in terms of self - chosen principles and on standards based on universal, ethnical principle and on the ideas of reciprocity and human equality. In Kohlberg's view, a moral decision always involves a conflict in values; hence what is important is not the decision itself, but the justification given for it. In any moral dilemma, people who are at the same stage of moral development may decide on opposite courses of action.