Preconventional Reasoning: the lowest level in Kohlberg's theory of moral development.
Stage 1: Punishment and obedience. Moral thinking is often tied to punishment.
Stage 2: Individualism, instrumental purpose, and exchange. Individuals pursue their own interests but also let others do the same.
Conventional reasoning second level in Kohlberg's theory of moral development. At this level, internalization is intermediate.
Stage 3: Mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships, and interpersonal conformity. Individuals value trust, caring, and loyalty to others as a basis of moral judgments.
Stage 4: Social systems morality. Moral judgments are based on understanding the social order, law, justice, and duty.
Postconventional reasoning is the highest level in Kohlberg's theory of moral development. At this level, morality is more internal and is not based on others' standards.
Stage 5: Social contract or utility and individual rights. Individuals reason that values, rights, and principles bolster or transcend the law.
Stage 6: Universal ethical principles. The person has developed a moral standard based on universal human rights.