Short Paper: Moral Development and Dilemma Assignment
PSY 632 Module Eight Short Paper Guidelines and Rubric (Moral Development and Dilemma)
This short paper assignment requires that you locate an individual not associated with this course to interview. The interview will take approximately 10–15 minutes to complete. The interview will be most effective in person, but if this is not possible the interview can take place over the phone, through email, or through any other appropriate means of technology. Please keep any information regarding the interviewee confidential. If you have not done so already, have your interviewee complete a consent form and submit this to your instructor in this module. During the interview, you will present the interviewee with the Heinz dilemma, made famous by Kohlberg: Heinz Dilemma: In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging $2,000, or 10 times the cost of the drug, for a small (possibly lifesaving) dose. Heinz, the sick woman’s husband, borrowed all the money he could, about $2,000, or half of what he needed. He told the druggist how his wife was doing and asked the druggist to sell the drug at a lower price or to let him pay later. The druggist replied, “No, I discovered the drug, and I’m going to make money from it.” Heinz then became desperate and broke into the store to steal the drug for his wife. Should Heinz have done that? After reviewing the dilemma with your interviewee, ask the follow-up questions listed below. Be sure to keep accurate notes of your subject’s responses, as this will help you to complete your paper.
1. Should Heinz steal the drug? Why or why not? 2. If Heinz does not love his wife, should he steal the drug for her? Why or why not? 3. Suppose the person dying is not his wife but a stranger. Should Heinz steal the drug for a stranger? Why or why not? 4. Why should people do everything they can to save another’s life? 5. It is against the law for Heinz to steal? Does that make it morally wrong? Why or why not? 6. Why should people generally do everything they can to avoid breaking the law? How does this relate to Heinz’s case?
In this short paper, be sure to address the following critical elements:
State of Moral Development: Review your interviewee’s responses and select which stage of moral development is indicated by each response. Did the answers supplied clearly meet the criteria for one stage? If more than one stage might be indicated, which stage is best represented by the collective information provided across all answers?
Reflection: Reflect on if you believe this is an accurate assessment of the individual’s level of moral development. Are the stages of Kohlberg’s model comprehensive enough to identify your interviewee? Did your presence influence the interviewee’s answers? What use might a developmental
psychologist or a mental health professional have for this information? Could this be utilized for assessing specific personality or characterological issues in development?
Position: Utilizing criticisms of Kohlberg’s model and this experience, construct a position on the utility of Kohlberg’s model for assessing moral development. Consider if Kohlberg’s theory accounts for atypical moral development (i.e., criminal behavior or aggressive actions). Does Kohlberg’s theory accurately allow the assessment of a person? Might the actions or decisions in the response to the Heinz or other dilemmas be situationally dependent?
Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Your paper must be submitted as a two- to three-page Microsoft Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and at least three sources cited in APA format.
Critical Elements Exemplary (100%) Proficient (90%) Needs Improvement (70%) Not Evident (0%) Value
Stage of Moral Development
Meets “Proficient” criteria and the identified stage of moral development is substantiated with specific and relevant details
Accurately selects a stage of moral development that is indicated by the interviewee’s responses
Selects a stage of moral development that is indicated by the interviewee’s responses, but the selection is inaccurate
Does not select a stage of moral development that is indicated by the interviewee’s responses
Reflection Meets “Proficient” criteria and reflection includes specific and relevant details supported by research
Reflects on the accuracy of the assessment of the interviewee’s level of moral development using specific details
Reflects on the accuracy of the assessment of the interviewee’s level of moral development but lacks specific details
Does not reflect on the accuracy of the assessment of the interviewee’s level of moral development
Position Meets “Proficient” criteria and the position is substantiated with specific and relevant details that utilize criticisms of Kohlberg’s model
Constructs a position on the utility of Kohlberg’s model for assessing moral development using specific details
Constructs a position on the utility of Kohlberg’s model for assessing moral development but lacks specific details
Does not construct a position on the utility of Kohlberg’s model for assessing moral development
Articulation of Response
Submission is free of errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, and organization and is presented in a professional and easy-to-read format
Submission has no major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization
Submission has major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideas
Submission has critical errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that prevent understanding of ideas
Earned Total 100%