Psychology-a Thought Piece

Individual Assignment: A thought piece
The news article is about the results of a survey conducted after the miserable case of Yueyue. The results show that there is the so-called “declining morality” in China. In this essay, I would like to apply Kohliberg’s approach on moral reasoning and the psychological concepts of conformity to explain the survey results, as well as the behavior of the 18 passers-by.
As revealed in the article, 18% chose not to help in order to avoid getting into troubles. There were cases of warm-hearted people attempted to help, but were brought a false charge by the one he/she helped. All these taught people a lesson. Owing to the fear of being punished innocently, people preferred not to help. This is, indeed, the punishment and obedience orientation in Kohliberg’s approach. According to the punishment and obedience orientation, people make decisions based on the concept of whatever is punished is “bad”. So, when helping the others becomes a “bad” thing, people are not willing to help, just like the 18 passers-by. At the same time, 44% of the interviewees thought that the declining morality was ascribed to people’s distorted value of money. People seem to have become more materialistic and they do things on purpose. They even expect to have rewards after offering help. If not, they do better not help. This is the instrumental relativist orientation as suggested by Kohlberg. While 32% of them pointed their fingers at the government for not setting up laws to punish those who diffuse their responsibilities nor treat those who offer help. Interviewees having this thought have “law and order” orientation which is also suggested by Kohliberg. With “law and order” orientation, people are said to respect the law simply because it is law. But can laws entirely restrict people’s behaviors? I doubt. If yes, why are there still crimes every day in spite of the existing laws? I do not think this factor contributes to the declining morality to such...