Medicine & USMLE

Conventional Morality

Kohlberg Moral Development
  1. Preconventional Morality
  2. Conventional Morality
  3. Postconventional Morality


The Conventional Stage is the second level of Kohlberg’s model of moral development. People in this stage have morals determined by social conventions. It is typically exhibited by teenagers, with focuses on conformity and maintaining society’s law and order.

Key Points

  • Conventional Morality
    • Morality is determined by externally-created social conventions
    • Usually seen in Teenagers/Adolescents
      • Although Kohlberg did not assign ages to his moral stages, conventional morality is most often seen in adolescents.
    • Conformity
      • Morals conform to societal norms/conventions because people are driven by the approval/disapproval of others
    • Law and Order
      • Laws seen as unquestionably moral