AP Psychologyhttps
Developmental Psychology:
Kohlberg, Kubler-Ross, Marcia, Levinson


  1. Kohlberg
  2. Kubler-Ross
  3. Marcia
  4. Levinson

Lawrence Kohlberg - Moral Development

Lawrences theory builds on the work of Piaget, focuses on MORAL REASONING instead of overt BEHAVIOR. Explored concepts of morality through asking participants moral questions (like Heinz dilemma on p. 451). Stage theorist – 3 levels with 2 stages each.

Carole Gilligan's Criticism of Kohlberg

Argued that Kohlbergs research was mostly on adolescent boys, but was generalizing to the whole population, faulty methodology. Proposed an alternative theory of moral progression.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross - Death & Dying

Wrote a book called On Death & Dying in 1969 that outlined five stages of grief that has been widely accepted.

Kubler-Ross has been criticized for her methodology, has no hard research to back up claims, just anecdotal research.

James Marcia - Identity Theory

Erikson identified the search for identity as the major crisis during adolescence. James Marcia built on Erikson's theory, and believed that identity formation extended well into adulthood.

Marcia believed that the absence/presence of life goals and a sense of crisis (questioning/exploration) can create 4 potential IDENTITY STATUSES:

Daniel Levinson - 4 Seasons of Life

Levinson conducted a series of interviews with adult men and adult women and created a theory that built off of Piaget and Erikson's stage theories.

Levinsonbelieved that each stage consists of two types of periods:

  • The Stable Period, in which a person makes crucial choices in life.
  • The Transitional Period, in which one stage ends and another begins.

Additional Resources

There’s an excellent short-film, featuring journalist Greg O’Brien, who describes the experience of Alzheimer’s disease as it affects him.

It’s both moving and brilliantly made, skilfully combining the neuroscience of Alzheimer’s with the raw experience of experiencing dementia.

I found it in this Nautilus article, also by O’Brien, who has taken the rare step of writing a book about the experience of Alzheimer’s disease before it affected his ability to write.

Link to short film Inside Alzheimer’s on vimeo.
Link to Nautilus article.