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Anika’s Dilemma

Unit IV Case Study
Read the two case studies below: “Anika’s Dilemma” and “The Ring”. Once you have read
each Case Study, complete the questions below it. Use Microsoft Word and APA format to
create one paper that answers all six questions. You may answer each question individually
(200 word minimum), or combine the questions from Case Study 1 into a 500 word essay
and Case Study 2 into a 500 word essay. At least one source must be used for each Case
Study and referenced according to APA guidelines.
Case Study 1: “Anika’s Dilemma”
Anika opened her locker and hid her face from her friend Hope. Luckily, Hope was talking
to Jerome and wasn’t paying attention. Anika unfolded the note and read it again. “I really
like you. Will you go steady with me?” The note was signed by Darius.
Darius Thompson was in most of Anika’s classes. He was super nice, everyone liked him,
and he was the cutest boy in the sixth grade. He was also the boy Hope had a huge crush
on. Hope was Anika’s best friend. She talked about Darius nonstop in the cafeteria, on the
school bus, when they talked on the phone at night. In fact, Anika was getting a little tired
of how much Hope gushed about Darius.
Anika looked over at Hope and Jerome. Sagan told Anika the other day that Jerome liked
Hope. Anika was surprised and told Sagan that wasn’t possible; Jerome, Anika, and Hope
had been friends since they were in kindergarten. Anika realized that Sagan might be right
when she saw Jerome blush as Hope touched his arm. (Hope was very touchy-feely.)
Anika wished Hope liked Jerome”like, liked him” as a boyfriend. Anika really liked Darius
herself, but had never said anything to Hope because she knew how much her friend
wanted Darius to be her boyfriend. Now that Darius had sent Anika the note, she didn’t
know what to do.
Answer the following questions.
PSY 3150, Developmental Psychology 5

  1. According to Gilligan’s Three Stages of Moral Development, what would Anika decide if
    she were at Stage 1? What about stage 2?
  2. As a sixth grader around the age of 12, is it possible that Anika has moved into the Stage
    3 phase-“Morality of non-violence”? Based on this stage, how do you think Anika would
    resolve this dilemma?
  3. Use Kohlberg’s Sequence of Moral Reasoning. Based on Anika’s age and your answer to
    question two, what level of moral reasoning do you think Anika falls into?
    Case Study 2: “The Ring”
    Will, a fifth grader at Carroll Elementary, was cutting through the playground on his way
    home from school when something caught his eye. He walked over to the monkey bars and
    bent down to pick up the shiny object. It was a ring and not the cheap kind either. Not like
    the ones out of the gum ball machine with the split in the band so you could squeeze them
    to fit on your finger. It looked nice with a purple gem in the middle and two sparkly
    diamonds on either side.
    Will didn’t know if the stones were real or not, but it was a lot nicer ring than any he had
    seen his older sister wear.
    Will looked around trying to see if he could find someone who might have dropped it, but
    the playground was empty. He saw a mom picking up two girls across the parking lot’it
    looked like Kaitlin’s mom, a girl from his class. Other than that the school yard was empty.

He had stayed longer after school than usual in order to get some help with his math
homework, so there were not many kids hanging around.
He looked back at the ring. It would be a nice present to give his sister. Ever since Will’s
dad had died the year before money had been tight. He didn’t get an allowance anymore;
his mom said she just couldn’t manage it right now. He used to go with his dad to buy his
mom and his sister, Cara, birthday and Christmas presents. His mom had said that it
wasn’t the presents that mattered; they would just have a birthday cake and a nice dinner
for Cara’s birthday next week.
Will wanted to do something nice for his sister and since it didn’t look like anyone was
missing the ring, he decided he would give it to his sister. He put it in his pocket so he
wouldn’t lose it as he walked home.
The next morning when Will walked in the classroom, he looked around for his buddy,
Rodriguez. He couldn’t wait to tell
Rod about the ring he found. He spotted him at Kaitlin’s desk along with a few other
classmates who had arrived before the school bell. Kaitlin looked like she was crying and
Will walked over.
“What’s wrong?” He asked Rod.
“Kaitlin lost her birthstone ring,” Rod told him. “I think her aunt gave it to her.”
Kaitlin looked up at the group. “It was purple, my favorite color. My mom is soooo mad at
me.” She burst into tears again.
Will’s heart sank. He knew the ring he found was Kaitlin’s.
Answer the following questions.

  1. What level of morality do you think Will has reached on Kohlberg’s Sequence of Moral
  2. Reasoning? Explain why you think he falls in this level.
  3. Based on the level you chose, what type of thought processes would Will be thinking? Do
    you think he would give the ring back to Kaitlin? Why?
  4. The legend of Robin Hood talks about a renegade who steals from the rich to give to the
    poor. Robin Hood’s actions, according to the myth, are justified by the deeds of selfish King
    John who has left the people in England in a state of poverty. (If you are not familiar with
    the folktale, you might want to research the story on the internet.) What level of morality
    does this legend address? Explain your reasoning.

Case study

Various theories try to explain and understand how people think and make their
decisions. Example of the theory is Moral development as postulated by Gilligan and Kohlberg’s
sequence of moral reasoning. These theories are incorporated in the responses to various
questions in the case studies provided.
Case study 1

Question one
Gilligan’s three stage of moral development have three stages, preconventional,
conventional and postconventional fueled by changes in the self as individual make decisions
based on the sense of self (Stolaf, 2014). Therefore, if Anika was at stage one she could have
gone ahead to accept Darius to be her boyfriend. She could not mind about the interest of her
friend Hope of becoming Darius friend. She could therefore put her own interest before anybody
else and this could mean that she could fight on to find that what she wants. However, if she
could be at stage two, she could not have made a decision to go for Darius and yet she knows
that Hope is the one pursuing him. Therefore, she could have sacrificed her quest and interests.
Question two
At the age of 12 and being in the third stage postconventional or morality of non-
violence, Anita could have approached the issue with a lot of wisdom to ensure that she does not
hurt herself as well as others-Hope and Darius. The best thing therefore, she could have done, is
to talk about it with Darius and Hope so that they make an agreement of who will remain with
Darius. The best option is for Darius to decide whom she likes and explain to the other party that
she will find a partner that will love and appreciate her.
Question three
Based on the age of Anika and the answer provided in question two the level of moral
reasoning according to Kohlberg which is level two also called conventional. This is because,
she puts into account moral perspective of other people in society in making the decision.
Case study 2
Question one

Based on the case and on Kohlberg’s sequence of moral, Will has reached the second
level of morality also called conventional. He falls in this category because he has a sense of
duty as he looks around to see any person that the ring belongs to (Walker, 2006). He is also
guilty because he knows that the ring is not his therefore, he feels that it would not be right for
him to take the ring. However, when he finds out that there is nobody to claim the ring he
quickly thinks about giving it as a present to his sister.
Question two
Will could be thinking if it is a good thing to give the ring to Kaitlin or remain with it and
give it to his sister as a present. The though process that Will will be going through is feeling of
guilty. Therefore, I think that he will finally give the ring back to Kaitlin because he will be
feeling guilty seeing Kaitlin cry. He will put himself in the situation of Kaitlin.
Question three
The legend addresses the third level postconventional because, Robin Hood’s action of
taking food from the poor. He makes the decision based on the logic principles and personal
moral standards. According to Hood, it is not good and morally correct for the poor to continue
suffering and yet the king is enjoying. Even though his action is not universal and dependent on
culture, it is out of Hoods humanistic feelings that people should not suffer and yet those
supposed to assist them are enjoying. Therefore, by stealing the foods from the king, it is what
will make him feel comfortable.


Stolaf. (2014). Gilligian’s in a different voice.
Walker, L. (2006). The Sequentiality of Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. Child
Development, 53(5): 1330-1336.

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