Barriers to Ethical Thinking and Development

Egocentrism refers to someone's inability to understand that another person's viewpoint or opinion may be different than their own. This acts as a barrier and is very similar to a biased opinion. I’ve done this multiple times, but one occasion really stands out to me. I was in a situation where one of my friends had lied to me. One of my other friends had showed me the proof that it was a lie right in front of me. Although, the evidence was right in front of me, I still didn’t want to believe it.

I kept telling myself that there was no way my best friend, that I had known for years, would do this to me. This was an example of egocentric blindness because I didn’t want to believe the truth because I didn’t like it.

Egocentric memory is “the tendency to forget evidence and information which does no support our thinking and to remember evidence and information which does not support our thinking and to “remember” evidence and information which does (Elder & Paul, 2013).

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I was in this situation very recently. I had been asked to move some of my things that were in the way at the house, but I insisted not to because I didn’t want to lose them. I finally gave in and moved my items to make everyone happy. A few weeks had gone by and I was looking for the items that I had moved but couldn’t find them.

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I then began to blame people in my household because I couldn’t find where I had put my things. My reasoning was irrelevant because I was the one who moved the items and now, I was blaming others for something I did.

Lastly, egocentric immediacy “is the natural tendency to over-generalize immediate feelings and experiences–so that when one event in our life is highly favorable or unfavorable, all of life seems favorable or unfavorable as well” (Elder & Paul, 2013). I had a situation where I needed to get a project done and take it to work the next day. I was confident that I had done everything my boss wanted. When I got to work, I had found out that there was a misunderstanding and the work I had done didn’t help. I was so irritated that I had wasted all my time working on this, so the rest of my day was ruined. This had affected any conversations that I had the rest of the day because I couldn’t get that out of my head.

Applying Kohlberg to My Socialization

One of the most common stages to experience in Kohlberg's theory is stage one. This stage is about making a judgment based off of whether or not you will get in trouble. I have noticed throughout the years that I base a lot of my decisions off this. One example that really sticks out to me was when I was working at Cousins Subs. One day while I was working, I had a manager who was off that day come in and order some food. I made the food, totaled it up and told them the cost. My manager had told me to give them a 50% discount which was only to be given while they were on the clock. This put me in a situation where I needed to decide right from wrong. I thought about whether it was the right thing to do and if I would get in trouble. At the time it didn’t seem like a bad idea because they were my boss and I was supposed to do what they told me. Instead of asking my manager who was on the clock I decided to go ahead and listen to them. This plan backfired as we both got talked to the next time we had worked. I explained how I felt and how I was under pressure and had made the wrong decision. These situations can often be difficult to overcome but I learned from this that it’s important to do the right thing no matter who it is.

Stage two of Kohlberg's theory talks about sense of fairness and whether or not you need something. A long time ago before I had a steady income, I was at a McDonalds with some of my friends. They all had money to buy something, but my parents didn’t give me any at the time. Luck would have it that I happened to find $5 on the ground and wasn’t too sure who had dropped it, so I had picked the money up and went back to my table. I was just about to go buy myself some food but then I had thought about how I would feel if I had lost the money. It wasn’t an easy task, but I decided that I wanted to do the right thing. I went over to the person who was ordering at the time and politely asked them if they had dropped some money out of their pocket. It turned out that it was their money and since I did the right thing, they let me keep out of respect for my honesty. This has happened to me multiple times after this occasion and still to this day this situation sticks out and I look back at it when I'm put in a predicament like this one.

Perry's Scheme of Intellectual and Moral Development

Perry’s Scheme talks about how the experts have the knowledge and that since he has learned the right way there should be no reason to question how things are. He trusts that the authorities know the answers and those that don’t are wrong and confused. I don’t agree that there is a set group of people that are always going to have the solution to the problems. In today's world almost everyone has direct access to information. Having this access will create a much easier source to many viewpoints. I personally believe that everyone is going to have their own outlook as if there is a better solution for what they’re looking for. Just because things are done a certain way doesn’t always mean that it’s the best. I do agree that knowledge is always changing or subject to change. Each day we are learning new things that could help better our future.

James Rest Components of Moral Behavior

Our of James Rest’s four components of moral behavior social norms are the most difficult to develop and maintain. Social norms are unwritten rules on how to behave. The reason I feel that it’s the most difficult to maintain is because everyone will always have their own view on life. What one-person believes to be wrong isn’t always going to be the case for everyone. There is always going to be that instance where someone is going to break the rules. Whether it was wrong or right every action is going to cause a reaction. The question is if the person is going to have a positive reaction or a negative reaction. Often, the negative reactions will cause them to go outside of those social norms. The fact the everyone thinks differently makes it so hard to follow the social norms.

Transformative Nature of Moral Development

Transformative learning can be described as an event or situation that happens to us, which causes a transformation in your perspective. The process of moral development changes the way we think, believe, or respond to an issue. Transformation is often triggered by a problem or dilemma and may painful to experience. Adults need to know the reason for learning something. This is often thought of as the need for helping the learner understand “what’s in it for me.” I’ve learned that people might change the way they look at something because they had a personal experience. Even if they’re consciously aware of the issue it may not change their viewpoint tell someone close in their life is affected.

Each day we have to deal with change and may experience new things in our life. These situations can change the way we feel about a topic. I have had a transformative learning experience a few years back when I was learning how to drive. I just had recently learned how to drive a car and I was looking to purchase one at the time. I knew that I wanted a manual car at the time, but I didn’t know how to drive one. I understood the concepts but still had some work to do. Learning what to do at the right time was a difficult process. I had stalled the car many times and was getting very frustrated. Once I figured that out then came the struggle of knowing when to upshift and downshift. Overall, this experience was something that I’ll never forget because it was so difficult.


Religion has been part of the world as long as it's been in existence. Different religions have played a major role in the evolution of society. I personally view religion to bring both positive and negative effects. An advantage to religion is that it can give someone some structure and comfort. If someone is feeling lost and can't seem to figure out what to do, religion is often a good option for them. This comfort can bring a huge value to their day to day life. Religion may teach you how to live your life and be the most respectful person that you can be. It talks about treating others how you want to be treated and how good morals will impact your life. This may help people navigate difficult times and give them something to look back at when put in a predicament. Another advantage to religion is that it provides a social change. It can be very effective in talking about certain social issues and using its own moral teachings. Overall, religion can bring positivity and help people each day.

Religion can also bring a negative effect on people. Religion can often trigger conflicts or fights. History shows that many lives were lost or sacrificed in the name of religion. Wars have been fought in the name of religion, and this still continues today. Another disadvantage to religion is that it’s one of the main reasons why people fear living. When I say living, I don’t just mean surviving. Living means to be sensitive to find and achieve your potential state of being. For example, some people fear that if they don’t act a certain way, they could go to hell because of the mistake they had made in life. They’re always afraid of whether their actions are right according to religion or not. All in all, religion attempts to help people but may come off to other as either good or bad.

As far as religion I’m personally in the middle of the road and could go either way. I don’t find it to be a problem nor do I find it to be a necessity. I feel that people's actions based off of religion are going to be different, some good and others bad. My family has a history of going to church so at a very early stage of my life I would go with them. Over the years my parents had stopped going and I wasn’t old enough to make my own decisions even though at the time I didn’t really understand the concept of church because I was too young. I don’t feel that the lack of religion in my life has affected my morals or ethical development. This is because my parents were around to teach me right from wrong and how I should behave in certain situations. If it wasn’t something, they thought I would either learn from observing others or by finding out the hard way. I'm more about being open minded whereas religion is about picking one that you believe in and can often contradict what another religion believes in. More often than not I see religion being used in a positive manner. Most people use it to bring each other together such as a loss of a loved one or when making a decision based off right from wrong. These are some common ways that positive religion is being taught and applied to real-life situations.

Updated: Dec 24, 2021
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Barriers to Ethical Thinking and Development. (2021, Dec 24). Retrieved from

Barriers to Ethical Thinking and Development essay
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