Preconventional Level:

In psychological development, the preconventional level refers to the earliest stage of moral reasoning proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg. This level is typically observed during childhood and is characterized by a self-centered perspective and a focus on immediate consequences rather than moral principles.

At the preconventional level, individuals make moral judgments based on external rewards and punishments. Their behavior is guided by the desire to avoid punishment and gain rewards. The two main stages of this level are: obedience and punishment orientation and individualism and exchange.

Obedience and Punishment Orientation:

At this stage, individuals adhere to rules and regulations, but only to avoid punishment. The focus is on avoiding negative consequences rather than considering the intentions or feelings of others. They may perceive rules as fixed and absolute.

Individualism and Exchange:

In this stage, individuals begin to consider their own interests but may also recognize the interests of others. The decision to engage in a particular action is based on the expectation of personal benefit, often in the form of reciprocity or a fair exchange.