Cultural Groups

Discussion: The Heinz Dilemma

One cannot be properly exposed to the study of moral development without a knowledge of the “Heinz Dilemma” of Lawrence Kohlberg, which he used with people of all ages to determine his/her stage of moral reasoning.

In Europe, a women was near death from cancer. One drug might save her, a form of radium a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The druggist was charging $2,000, ten times what the drug had cost him to make. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow money, but he could only get together about half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later, but the druggist said “No.” The husband got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife. Should the husband have done that? Why?

Yes, because:

No, because:

Other issues to consider are what are some variables that influenced your answer? Did you want more information? What are some issues with/criticisms of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development?

*write 2-3 paragraphs min!

Discussion: What is Intelligence?

Without referring to a specific theory of intelligence you have been exposed to, how are you most comfortable defining intelligence? Being able to define what you are actually measuring is a very important aspect of research.

  • Discuss what theory of intelligence most closely incorporates your ideas about intelligence.
  • Can you measure intelligence as you have defined it?
  • As one of the theorists define it?
  • What are the challenges of quantifying intelligence?

*write 2-3 paragraphs min!


Learning Guide: Personal Development


Self-concept, self-esteem, and self-identity: These are constructs that psychologists find useful in understanding people’s development and behavior. The self-concept is the picture one has of him or herself. Self-esteem is the valuation of particular elements of the self. Identity is the unique combination of personality characteristics and social styles that defines oneself and is recognized by others. Self-concept, self-esteem, and identity formation in adolescents are influenced by cognitive development. The development of formal operational abilities, such as the ability to use abstract conceptions of the self, enable the adolescent to separate the real from the possible, and to use hypothetical-deductive logic about oneself with respect to oneself and one’s environment. This enables the adolescent to develop a personal philosophy of life, a more abstract self-concept, and a greater awareness of the self.

The concepts presented here about personal development are not separate from the concepts about social and emotional development to follow, but rather lay the groundwork upon which allaspects of the self are based.


  • William James argued that people can have multiple selves, just as they play multiple roles. Sociological theories claim that the self is formed as appraisals from others are internalized. Cognitive psychologists argue that people create a theory of self and actively search for information about themselves. Humanistic psychologists argue that the self is partially formed through the individual’s understanding of his/her own experience.
  • Young children often define themselves in terms of possessions and activities. Elementary school children look at their characteristics and compare themselves with others, but adolescents define themselves in more abstract terms. their descriptions are more complex and some of the traits are in conflict with each other (an important article by Susan Harter, Developmental Analysis of Conflict Caused by Opposing Attributes in the Adolescent Self-Portrait explores these concepts further).
  • Early adolescents are not aware of these contradictions, but during the middle years of adolescence, these contradictions bother teenagers: they become worried about acting phony or false. These contradictions are integrated during the late adolescent years. Discrepancies between the real self and the ideal self are troublesome, especially in middle adolescence.


  • High self-esteem is related to many positive outcomes, while low self-esteem is related to a number of poorer outcomes, although these relationships are not strong.
  • A person may have high self-esteem in one area, and low self-esteem in another. High global self-esteem would be found if an individual evaluates him or herself highly in domains of importance to the self and the circle within which the self is involved.
  • Although self-esteem is relatively stable, if social support or positive evaluations of the self in areas of importance improve, self-esteem may increase as well.


  • Erik Erikson, in his theory of lifespan development, argued that the positive outcome of the psychosocial crisis of adolescence is a solid sense of ego identity, while the negative outcome is a sense of role confusion. While some psychologists consider identity as a coherent whole, others speak about identity in terms of different parts, such as an occupational identity or a religious identity. Erikson maintained that identity formation entails exploration and commitment. Initially he described the transitions in adolescence as “identity crisis” because so much is at stake at this time.
  • James Marcia suggested four identity statuses:

    Identity foreclosure: adolescents who make identity commitments without a real crisis, or confrontation, with the person one could be and might want to be.

    Identity diffusion: adolescents who have not meaningfully explored their alternatives and avoid commitments.

    Identity moratorium: adolescents who experience a crisis but have not made a commitment

    Identity achievement: adolescents who have explored identity issues and made commitments.

  • Although exploration is central to identity formation for both males and females, some psychologists argue that females are more likely to base their identities on interpersonal factors and males on intrapersonal factors. More recent studies emphasize the integration of interpersonal and intrapersonal factors for women.


  • Sex typing involves learning the behaviors and attitudes that are considered appropriate for one’s gender in a particular culture, in other words, expectations for behaviors within a society for males and females. In most societies, the typical stereotypes for males is agentic, and the typical stereotype for females is communal.
  • There is generally greater gender-role flexibility for females than males (could this be because males are dominant, and there is no/less loss of status for a female to take on a male role than for a male to take on a female role?) There is also greater gender role flexibility in elementary school aged children and in later adolescence, than in early adolescence, when it seems primary to establish oneself in one’s gender role.


  • There is a great range of opportunities for adolescents to explore their identities in different socio-cultural groups. Typically, the more traditional the society, the more limited the opportunities are, especially for females. This is true within the culture, however, there are also social barriers placed around many cultures from outside. Therefore, many adolescents do not have the opportunity to successfully emerge with identity achievement and instead emerge with identities which are incomplete and restricted in many ways.
  • The meaning of self and identity differ depending on cultural expectations. Minimally, Western cultures identify successful maturation as achieving independence. Other cultures frequently see successful maturation as learning how to adapt to group membership.

Primary Source: Study Guide for Adolescence by Vanchella. Houghton-Mifflin (2004)

Do you need help with this assignment or any other? We got you! Place your order and leave the rest to our experts.

Quality Guaranteed

Any Deadline

No Plagiarism