Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development

Kolhberg’s theory of moral development states that people progress through three different stages including pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional stages of moral thinking that facilitate their cognitive development (FORSHA, 2017). According to Kohlberg, at the pre-conventional stage of morality, the moral code of individuals is formed by the standards of authority or adults, and the consequences of disobeying the two. Due to fear of getting caught by either the authorities or parents, bullies prefer to bully over the internet instead of face-to-face bullying where they can be easily identified and punished. The aspect of being anonymous encourages cyberbullies and those who engage in trolling since they can undergo their normal lives without much public attention (FORSHA, 2017).   

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Traditional and Cyberbullying

Unlike in traditional bullying, the advancement in technology promotes anonymity where the bully cannot be easily identified. Moreover, the internet allows bullying to occur from anywhere provided that the bully has access to the internet (Kowalski & Limber, 2013). Traditionally, bullying only occurred in isolated places away from adults or authorities. Moreover, it could only occur in places where the two parties shared a venue. Another major difference is that traditional bullying could only be witnessed by a small population may be a class or a school. However, cyberbullying allows anyone with access to the internet to witness. As a result, the repercussions to the victim become more severe.

On the contrary, some of the ways in which cyberbullying remains the same as traditional bullying are that bullying is bullying and thus in both cases, the bully imposes threats or harm to the victim. Consequently, the victims remain with physical or emotional injuries and usually experiences depression. Besides, in both cases, the acts occur repeatedly to the extent of instilling permanent fear to the target.    


FORSHA, S. K. (2017). Virtue and Moral Development, Changing Ethics Instruction in Business School Education. College Student Journal, 51(3), 429–443.Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2013). Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), S13-S20.

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