Conference "Can Morality be Taught? Is it a Competence?" 27 - 31 July 2009

Presenters and Abstracts of MOSAIC Session

Last revision: 17 March 2009 | Back to the program | & Videos for most presentations

Not in alphabetical order! Please use search to find the abstract.

Karolina Budzinska,
Adrianna Urbanska

Adam Mickiewicz University Posnan
Department of Philosophy
Poznan, Poland

  Dilemmatic logical reasoning competence in adolescent moral reasoning and development: A pilot training programme

This presentantion is about the moral dilemma discussion that took place during the International conference “Fostering of moral and demokratic competences” at Adam Mickiewicz University in May 2007. This dicussion was conducted by professor Georg Lind. Our main goal is to show the factors that have made the discussion in some way extraordinary:

  • the participants who were students of philosophy
  • the discussion, which was three-lingual: in Polish, German and English
  • the group, which was enormous in number: about 100 people
  • the peculiar environment and atmosphere of discussion

Special means of presentation:

  • photos exhibition of this event
  • lecture during the exhibition in two languages: english and german
  • performance (surprise)

Fernanda Pereira Souza,
Patricia Unger Raphael Bataglia

Universidade Bandeirante de São Paulo

  Ethical Dilemmas in the Psycho-oncologists’ practice – Evaluation of Situations which Involves Secrecy and Human Life

his research is part of a program of scientific initiation for undergraduate students. The theme is ethics in health professionals’ education. Life is the core theme for the health professional. In the oncology this theme is yet more important because professionals are permanently in processes of decision making about dilemmas such as quality versus quantity of life, secrecy, location of resources to emergencies, among others. The objective of this project is to evaluate the level of moral judgment of psycho-oncologists using specifics dilemmas to their practice. Methodology: Ten psycho-oncologists were invited to answer a questionnaire composed by six questions about graduation and specialization and three dilemmas about psycho-oncologists practice. The first is about quantity or quality of life, the second about hospice care and the third about secrecy. After each dilemma seven questions were formulated to understand the level of the arguments preferred by subjects. Preliminary Results: Data are being analyzed but till know it was noticed that only one third of the professionals have specialization in oncology. Some has no specialization at all and some has in other areas. It was possible to detect in some respondents inflexibility to analyze other points of view. It is easy to identify a preference to arguments stages 2 and 4 in this sample. Conclusion: Although this research is in progress and because of this we have preliminary results only, it is clear the necessity to increment intervention processes in health professional education. The more students and professionals are stimulated to think about dilemmas they deal day-by-day, the more they can be prepared to solve this dilemmas with autonomy, responsibility and critical thinking.

Marcia Regina Bortolanza,
Patricia Unger Raphael Bataglia

Universidade Bandeirante de São Paulo
Rua Turiassu, 152, apto 21. Perdizes – São Paulo – SP
Brazil, 05005-000

  Concepts of moral and ethics and learning environment -- a transversal study with psychology students

This research is part of a program of scientific initiation for undergraduate students. Its theme is the influence of learning environment in the building of moral and ethics concepts. Learning environment includes syllabus, semi-syllabus, extra-syllabus activities and guided reflection opportunities. Besides, we should consider non-syllabus activities that can promote role-taking opportunities. A rich learning environment and a good quality of education should promote students’ awareness that it is expected of them reflection and respect to values which take human being as an end in itself. The objective of this research was to verify students’ concepts of moral and ethics in the psychologists’ practice from the beginning to the end of the course. Methodology: It was elaborated a questionnaire about concepts of moral and ethics and it was used Origin _u from Georg Lind validated to Portuguese language by Schillinger (2006). The sample was psychology students from the first and last year of a university in Brazil. This university was chosen by convenience of access and because it has unities in different areas of São Paulo. Results: Both, role taking opportunities and guided reflection presented scores very low from the first to the last year. However, when compared separately the various kinds of activities, it is evident that syllabus opportunities are high, but semi, extra and non syllabus are almost none. About concepts of moral and ethics, there is a strong emphasis in the clinical approach. As a result, students give in almost all the cases, examples of ethical behavior considering only the relationship between psychologist and patients and secrecy. Conclusion: Other studies have already shown that learning environment is important to development of moral competence. This study proposes that it is important to reflect about the relation between learning environment and building of moral and ethics concepts.

Marcia Silva Oliveira,
Sergio Rego,
Patricia Bataglia

  Moral judgment competence, teaching-learning environment and nursing students in a public university at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The objective of this research was investigating the development of moral judgment competence and its relationship with teaching-learning environment in higher education for nursing students in a public university at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We used the Lind's Moral Judgment Test to assess the moral judgment competence level of students in the beginning and at the end of the course and comparing the difference among groups. The investigation about learning environment was qualitative. We used the focus group technique. We directed our study to some factors that could interfere on moral judgment competence development, as shown by others studies, as role taking and guided reflection opportunities, support in challenging situations and teaching ethic. The main results of the study showed that the nursing students, as in others studies with medical students: have a moral judgment competence regression during their universities years, the teaching-learning environment is unfavorable to stimulate the moral development. Moral judgment competence regression was correlated to an unfavorable environment for education. The MJT is effective as a tool to assess the impact of learning environment on the moral competence development of groups

Patricia Unger Raphael Bataglia,
Maria Cristina Silva,
Maria Rita Aprile

Universidade Bandeirante de São Paulo
São Paulo – SP

  Development of moral competence in teacher education

This study is about the influence of academic education in the development of moral competence (Kohlberg, 1964). Such capability is made throughout the life but being dependent of educational quality, would be reasonable to expect that professional education influence and stimulate reflexive capacity and so, develop moral competence. Traditional academicals syllabus do not contemplate the development of moral competence, however, academicals environment can stimulate guided reflexion and role taking activities. The objective of this paper was evaluating moral competence in pedagogy students since the first year to the last one. The instrument used was MJT_xt elaborated by Georg Lind and validated to Portuguese language by Bataglia (2006). METODOLOGY: All the students of pedagogy (morning classes) of one campus of a private university in Sao Paulo (Brazil) were invited to answer MJT_xt. This test is composed by three dilemmas: the first about robbery, the second about euthanasia and the third about torture. RESULTS: 102 students participated: 68 from the first year, 19 from the second and 15 from the third. This represents: 100% from the first year, 35% from the second and 31% of the third. MJT_xt’s score can vary from zero to one hundred. Cohen (1977; 1988; 1994) classified MJT values as such: 0 to 9 is very low; 10-29 is medium; 30 – 49 is high; above 50 is very high. The first year showed mean equal 10.85; the second year, 10.30 and the third year, 11.8. Lind (2000) considers a variation significant above 6 points. CONCLUSION: In the sample studied there was no change in the moral competence from the beginning to the end of the course. That is, the academicals environment had no influence in the development of such capability. The variation of percentages of participation can be a possible cause or a reflex of these results.

Anna Laura Comunian

University of Padua, Italy

Uwe P. Gielen

St Francis College, New York, USA

  The Cross-Cultural Construct Validity of the Padua Moral Judgment Scale

In cognitive-structural theory, moral judgment development involves a construction of progressively more mature forms of moral meaning. Kohlberg contended that the process of constructing follows an identifiable cross-culturally valid sequence of six stages of moral judgment development and maturity (Kohlberg, 1984). Kohlberg’s model of moral development as displaying an invariant hierarchical order of structurally consistent stages has recently been supported by Dawson et al. (2005) who applied a Rasch analysis to their data. Similarly, the current study employs a Rasch model to examine stage development, and it uses the Padua Moral Judgment Scale (PMJS; Comunian, 2004) in different samples of respondents from Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, and Asia. The PMJS is composed of 28 items, each of which is rated on a 4-point Likert scale. The items are grouped in four parts, with each part containing seven items addressing seven sociomoral values (contract, truth, affiliation, life, property, law, and legal justice). Each of the seven items represents a stage or mixed stage of moral judgment development ranging from stage 1 to stage 4. In accordance with Kohlberg’s model and as assessed through the PMJS, the research results confirmed the hierarchical stage order in all of the countries considered. The cross-cultural validation of the PMJS constitutes the basic purpose of a specific research project.

Karolina M. Cern

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

  Is a construction of lifeworlds possible?

Several current problems concern the European Union and it's law. To correctly undertake them it is necessary to consider at the very beginning the European legal culture and its basis – the European Culture in general and the European Identity (Karolina M. Cern, Piotr W. Juchacz, 2009). On this second level of problematics some questions are oriented to the lifeworlds ( Lebenswelten ). To describe them we use the notions related to authenticity, not rationality, and because lifeworlds embrace historical and biographical forms of life they are understood as specific backgrounds of any understanding, “the unproblematic horizons” from which rational solving of moral problems derives its possibility (Jürgen Habermas, 1999). In other words, an unproblematic horizon of massive life-understanding and then problem-solving are to be captured first and foremost with regard to authenticity and not rationality. In the following consideration I would like to examine in what way and to what degree: the KMDD (as belonging to a psychological constructivism) allows to change motivating power of peculiar lifeworlds and then in what sense it binds rational argumentation with motivational power in participants in the KMDD-interventions (and change low motivational power of reasonable morality (Habermas) to a much higher one). This would, from the other point of view, enable shaping the European political public culture (based on three constructed ideals of multicentred / diffused deliberative democracy regime, human rights and European Citizenship) as a ground for a construction of the European Union Polity. Al least I would like to scrutinize whether the KMDD and correlated with it Kohlberg-Lind's scale of a moral development give rise assumptions to the thesis that rational construction of lifeworlds – especially in a case of the European Union – is possible (even if only partly) through discussion (the KMDD) and qualifying the range of used during a discussion arguments (Kohlberg-Lind's scale; Georg Lind, 2009). Such a thesis I find of a great importance for it would play a special complementary role for claiming that we should understand the European Union and the European Citizenship as political constructs (Karolina M. Cern, Piotr W. Juchacz, 2009).

Monika Eigenstetter

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

  Ethical Decision Making and Responsible Behavior as Criteria for Personnel Selection

Organizations main interests should include the selection of individuals who are expected to act responsible at work. Based on psychological theories including perspective taking, moral judgment and ethical decision making, personal initiative, altruism and responsibility denial a model of ethical decision making and ethical behavior is developed. In order to craft prototypical work situations which call for individual responsibility, situations are gathered in with which engineers are faced in their every day professional lives. These situations serve as the basis for developing situational questions for personnel selection. For the purpose of construct validation of the instruments several personality-tests are added: tests for integrity, moral judgment test and locus of control. The results give some evidence that situational interviews could be valid instruments for assessing ethical decision making and responsible behaviour.

Nadja Groß

Department of Literature
University of Konstanz


The language of love?! – The influence of the KMDD on emotions in French class

Emotions play an important role not only in life generally, but also and particularly in learning context. They have an influence on the development of personality, the trust in ourselves and in our faculties. As I will go to be a teacher of modern languages (French and Spanish) and as I would like to arrange for positive feelings and experiences on the part of the growing children, I placed the subject of my work on one of the best emotions: joy.
Joy should dominate the everyday life at school of children and teenagers – but how could teachers create joy and pleasure without pupils being aware of it, without refusing the teacher’s attempts because of joy appearing to them like an “artificial and forced on“ emotion? This should be explored by means of an all concrete example – the Constance Method of Dilemma Discussion (KMDD). If it will succeed in reducing oppressive and obstructive feelings such as anxiety and shame (e.g. of saying something in the foreign language in front of the class mates) and simultaneously in enforcing positive emotions, shall finally be demonstrated by the evaluation of the two questionnaires for the capture of emotions in French class generally and emotions in French class during the KMDD.
It is expected that the atmosphere of respectful handling with each other during the KMDD, of getting to know and dealing with different opinions and especially with the moral dilemma, also encourages weaker pupils to participate as they want to comment their position concerning the conflict between the two moral principles of the dilemma situation. They feel to be understood and seen as growing major people.

Aswati bt Hamzah

University Sains Malaysia
School Of Educational Studies, University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia

  The Moral Reasoning Schemes of Malay Students

For the Malays, the term “Akhlak” is prominently used to describe their morality. The study was purposely design to explore descriptive data on the contributing factors of the formation of Malay student’s moral reasoning schemes i.e., age, religious orientations, attitudes and beliefs towards the Malay social standards. The study also looks at the Islamic moral/akhlak paradigm that emphasizes on spiritual aspects combining both cognitive science and Islamic Psychology approaches to conceptualize the formation of akhlak/moral reasoning schemes. Three instruments based on the paradigm are created. First, the Akhlak/moral Reasoning Scheme Defining Test is used to identify the quality of the akhlak reasoning that is described on the scale of one to four. Second, the “Religious Orientation Test” is used to assess the students’ religious orientations and third, the Attitudes and Beliefs towards the Malay Social Standard Test, assesses the students’ propensities on attitudes and beliefs towards the Malay social standard. A group of 732 Malay students involved in this study where 396 are secondary school students while 336 are from the Public Higher Learning Institutions. Both the quantitative and qualitative approaches were used in this study. The quantitative analyses examine the effect of age differences, religious orientation, and the propensity of attitude and belief towards the Malay social standard on the reasoning quality. The results show the age group, (F = 9.775 DF 1, sig 0.002) and propensity of attitude and belief towards the Malay social standard (F = 9.093 DF 2, sig 0.000) have significant effect on the formation of Malay students reasoning schemes. The qualitative analyses show that four different types of akhlak/moral reasoning schemes: istiqamah, knowledgeable and passive imitation, passive imitation and passive imitation decadency exist among the students. Malay students of different age groups and reasoning qualities demonstrate a mixture of reasoning schemes. Students who score higher on the reasoning schemes test initiate more Islamic akhlak features compared to those with lower scores. Significantly, the students’ age, and propensities on attitude and belief towards the Malay social standard play an important role in determining their akhlak reasoning quality.

Kay Hemmerling

Department of Psychology, University of Constance, Germany

  Fostering moral judgment competence of incarcerated delinquents as an important goal of education processes in rehabilitation

Experts agree to a large extent that moral judgment and discourse competences (and associated abilities for solving interpersonal conflicts and decision-making) play a key role in the rehabilitation of delinquents (Eisner, 2003; Walther, 1998). It is well-known for a long time (Levy-Suhl, 1912) that offenders (as almost all of us) have high moral principles. Rather they regularly fail in translating their high moral preferences into moral behavior (low moral judgment competence).
Indeed research in this area shows a relatively strong correlation between moral judgment competence on the one side and deviant and criminal behavior on the other side (Smetana, 1996; Basinger et al, 1993; Wischka, 1982; Blasi, 1980; Kohlberg, 1958).
It is surprising that there are only rare efforts to foster moral judgment competence effectively in the penal system setting (Wilson, 2005). In contrast empirical findings show that imprisoned offenders even seem to lose this competence during incarceration (Glasstetter, 2006, McPhail, 1981, Hemmerling, 2006).
This paper will report results of a research project in a big German remand prison in which we are evaluating the “Konstanz Method of Dilemma-Discussion (KMDD; Lind, 2008, 2009) that proved its effectiveness for promoting moral judgment competence in many cases. Findings of pre-post-tests with the Moral Judgment Test (MJT, Lind, 2009) will be illustrated. Furthermore positive side effects of the KMDD for rehabilitation are described (e.g. decreasing violence in prison, advanced moral atmosphere, increasing well-being of prisoners) that underline that the KMDD can be used efficiently in prison context.

Anna Lesniewska

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

  Wie stärken die KMDD und der philosophische Dialog mit Kindern die Urteils- und Diskurskompetenzen?

In meinem Paper werden zwei Methoden in Betracht gezogen: die KMDD und das „Philosophieren mit Kindern“ (Martens, 1999; Weber, 2007). Bei der ersten Methode handelt es sich ums Stimulieren und Stärken zahlreicher Fähigkeiten, die als moralische Urteilsfähigkeit und demokratische Diskurskompetenz (Lind, 2009) definiert sind. Auch die theoretischen Grundlagen und die Praxis der Methode des edukativen „Philosophierens mit Kindern“ gehen davon aus, die unterschiedlichen Fähigkeiten des Kindes zu stärken. Diese Fähigkeiten kann man am besten als Begriffspaaren bezeichnen: Staunen und Fragen, Denken und Sprechen, Werten und Handeln. Da die beiden genannten Methoden immer in einem didaktischen Diskursraum bzw. in einer didaktischen kommunikativen Gesellschaft anzuwenden sind, beobachten wir einige Parallelen zwischen der Wirksamkeit von KMDD und der Methode „Philosophieren mit Kindern“. In beiden Fällen geht es darum, die Urteils- und Handelnsfähigkeit bei den Kindern zu verbessern. Hier und da werden kognitive und affektive Prozesse aktiviert. Beim „Staunen“ und „Fragen“ kommt es zum ähnlichen Prozess wie bei der Dilemma-Erklärung in der KMDD. Kurz um: „sich im Denken zu orientieren“ stärkt auch moralische Urteilsfähigkeit. Die Frage ist, wie effektiv sind die Lehr- und Lernstrategien in den beiden Methoden; ob die Effektivität der Strategien wie Dialog-Handelns-, Sich-Wunderns- und Aufklärungsstrategie (Martens, 1999) auch messbar wäre und wie könnte man diesen Effekt evaluieren?
Dass das derartige Philosophieren ein Bestandteil der demokratischen Erziehung ist und zur Stärkung moralisch-demokratischer Kompetenzen beitragen kann, steht ausser Frage. Ich möchte jedoch diese Methode mit der KMDD konfrontieren und ich hoffe, zum didaktisch fruchtbaren Dialog zwischen den Anhängern von den beiden Methoden beizutragen.

Iuliana Lupu

Department of Psychology
University of Konstanz

  The interplay of education and religiosity in moral development. A study of Romanian university student

The Education Theory of moral development (Lind, 2003) states that the institutional education, especially through the responsibility-taking and guided reflection opportunities which are offered to the students, contributes to a great extent to the development of moral judgment competence. Several studies have found a positive correlation between the involvement in responsibility-taking and guided reflection opportunities, and the level of moral competence (Herberich, 1996; Lind, 2000; Comunian, 2006; Schillinger, 2006). On the other hand, it has been shown that people from countries, in which the religious institutions are very influential, have a lower level of moral competence than people from secular, West-European countries (Lind, 1986; Lind, 2003, Schillinger, 2006, Saedi-Parvaneh, 2008).
These findings raise the question how education processes and dogmatic religiosity act together on the development of moral competence: do they act independently or against each other? We assume that the strong commitment to religious doctrine, which is related to a strong dominant position of religious authorities, hamper the ability to solve adequately moral conflicts.
In order to answer this question, the moral competence, the quality of learning environment and religiosity were assessed at 477 Romanian students using a cross-sectional design. The moral competence was measured using the Moral Judgment Test developed by Georg Lind (2008). The responsibility-taking and guided reflection opportunities, which were used to describe the quality of learning environment, were assessed by a revised version of ORIGIN/u-Questionnaire (Lind and Schillinger, 2002). A self-developed scale was used to assess dogmatic and personal religiosity.
First, when analysing the effects of the learning environment on moral competence, irrespective of dogmatic religiosity, it has been found that responsibility-taking and guided reflection opportunities lead to a moderate increase in moral competence during the study. Secondly, the two forms of religiosity, which were analysed in this study, the dogmatic and the personal religiosity, have different effects on the moral competence. Only the dogmatic religiosity has a negative effect on the moral competence. On the contrary, the personal religiosity has a positive, but moderate effect. Thirdly, the learning environment quality, as assessed by responsibility-taking and guided reflection opportunities, has a strong, positive effect on the development of moral competence only in the group of non dogmatic-religious students. Despite having many opportunities to responsibility-taking and guided reflection, highly dogmatic-religious students show no increase in their moral competence during their study. Similarly, the length of study has a positive influence on the development of moral competence only in the group of non dogmatic-religious students.
These results suggest that the dogmatic religiosity diminishes the positive effects of education on moral competence. Additional analyses have shown that more opportunities for guided reflection are necessary in order to promote the critical thinking of dogmatic-religious students.

Literature :
Comunian, A. L., Gielen, U.P. (2006). Promotion of moral judgment maturity through stimulation of social role-taking and social reflection: an Italian intervention study. Journal of Moral Education, 35 (1), 51-69.
Herberich, S. (1996). Abhängigkeit moralischer Urteilsfähigkeit bei Studierenden von Gelegenheiten zu "Verantwortungsübernahme" und "angeleiteter Reflexion ". Unveröffentlichte Diplomarbeit, Universität Konstanz.
Lind, G. (2000). The importance of role-taking opportunities for self-sustaining Moral Development. Journal of Research in Education 10 (1), 9-15.
Lind, G. (2002). Ist Moral lehrbar? Ergebnisse der modernen moralpsychologischen
Lind, G. (2009). Moral ist lehrbar. Handbuch zur Theorie und Praxis moralischer und demokratischer Bildung. München: Oldenbourg. Zweite, erweiterte Auflage.
Lind, G. (2003). Does Religion Foster or Hamper Morality and Democracy?
Lind, G. (2008). The meaning and measurement of moral judgment competence revisited – A dual-aspect model. In: D. Fasko, W. Willis, Eds., Contemporary Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives on Moral Development and Education . Cresskill. NJ: Hampton Press, S. 185 – 220.
Schillinger, M. (2006). Learning environment and moral development: How university Education fosters moral judgment competence in Brazil and two German-speaking countries . Aachen: Shaker Verlag.
Saeidi, S. (in Vorb.). Moral, Bildung und Religion in Iran. Zur Rolle universitärer Bildung bei der Entwicklung moralischer Urteilsfähigkeit in einem religiös geprägten Land
Sprinthall, N.A., Reiman, A.J., Thies-Sprinthall, L. (1993). Role-taking and reflection: promoting the conceptual and moral development of teachers. Learning and Individual Differences, 5,(4), 283-299

Katerina Mouratidou

Department of Physical Education and Sport Science at Serres Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Greece (Hellas)

  Morality and Physical Education: Determinants of relevant intervention programs which promote students' moral development

Teaching ethical behaviour constitutes –according to curriculum- an indispensable part of Physical Education (PE). Compared to sport domain, in PE settings phenomena such as winning at all costs and competition occur less often; furthermore this framework offers numerous opportunities for effective interactions among peers, becoming responsible and establishing attitudes and affections towards other people . Therefore PE lessons could be appropriate in enhancing students' morality. The present study reviews research examining the promotion of moral development through PE intervention programs . Concerning the theoretical background on which these programs draw upon, the relevant studies claimed that both structural-developmental as well as social learning teaching strategies are effective in promoting moral development. Specifically, a) strategies, such as instructions and praise, appeared to be effective in reducing unsportsmanlike behavior , b) intervention programs based on values produce changes in moral reasoning, and sportsmanship, c) building both moral community and a mastery motivational climate, and shifting power from teachers to students affect students' moral growth, and d) intervention programs based on reciprocal teaching style and on task orientation promote students' moral reasoning. In conclusion, children' moral development could be supported during physical education lessons with the requirement that these settings should be systematic and carefully planned.

Bill Puka

Rensselaer College

  Democratizing Democracy Education

The pamphlet "Common Sense," by Thomas Paine apparently convinced rank and file colonials in America that revolting against the British monarchy was necessary, and that justice in any society requires The People to run their own affairs. The opening message of that document is that all confusions between society's mutually respectful cooperation versus government, a system of legal coercion to address violations of mutuality, must be eliminated. "Society is a blessing everywhere. Government is at best a necessary evil, at worst, an intolerable." What passes as democracy and citizenship education, as well as civil engagement, is a warm and thorough embrace of this confusion. It teaches that democracy is a form of government, not society, that majority rule is not majority tyranny, that voting for a political representative, not for major public policies, is representative government, that having a say is key to self-government when only being heeded is, that citizens should exercise their right of protest, dissent and petition toward government, when in fact it is government that must solicit and conform to social will, having no voice to be protested against, that political democracy is government by consent rather than demand or directive, that public servants are to lead rather than follow, that patriotism is nationalism and support for the political system, not an exercise in suspicion and hostility toward concentrated power, and that we should `ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country,' though the country is a fabricated jurisdiction of society, afforded a public service agency (government) designed solely to serve us--as national constitutions make crystal clear. Raising these alternative viewpoints, and others, holds hope of democratizing democracy education.

Herbert Rätz

Arbeitskammer des Saarlandes

  Was ist die Moral der Esoterik...? Oder: was kann man denn noch glauben?

Untersucht man Esoterik, so erweist sich das Phänomen als eine autoritäre Gemengelage (Bricolage) eurozentrischer Kulturgüter, die eklektisch benutzt werden sollen. Rationale Realitätsperzeption wird ebenso verweigert wie diskursive Kompetenzen.
Aus der Magie stammt das Geist-Materie-Problem, aus dem Mythos und dem Chiliasmus das Deprivationssyndrom, aus Alchemie und Neuplatonismus das Mikrokosmos-Makrokosmos-Analogon, aus der Gnosis die Geschichts- und Materiefeindlichkeit. Chiliastische Topoi lehnen zudem evolutionäres bzw. historisches Denken (Apokalyptik) ab, berufen sich auf reine Natur-, Rassen-, oder Urzustände und propagieren für „Eingeweihte“, dass sie einem „wahren Adel“ angehören. Gegen „höheres Wissen“ ist das rational-wissenschaftsorientierte nicht durchsetzungsfähig. (Wer heilt hat recht!) Argumente werden nicht aufgebaut, sondern egozentrische Behauptungen in den Stand wissenschaftlicher Aussagen gehoben.
Mithilfe des Sprachstils UDN (unscharf, diffus, Nebel) können alle Gegensätze miteinander vereinbar gemacht werden; der Kommunikant ist nicht bereit, die Verantwortung für seine Behauptungen zu übernehmen.
Esoterik ist eine fundamentalistische Weltanschauung, daher gibt es keine „harmlose“ Esoterik. Ihr Denken ist nicht an einen kognitiven Mangel gebunden, sondern an pseudo-emotionale Kontroll- und Ordnungsbedürfnisse. Insofern kann Esoterik all jenen, die lieber Sinn suchen, als ihn sich zu geben, das Mittel bieten, mit dem sie ihre „Überlegenheit“ aufrechterhalten können, allerdings zu Lasten demokratischer und moralischer Kompetenzen.

Marcia Schillinger

Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten (University of Education Weingarten), Germany

Devendra Kodwani

ACCA, Glasgow, UK and The Open University Business School, UK

  Accountants and moral judgment competence

The University of Konstanz in Germany has worked in collaboration with the ACCA Glasgow to develop the “Accountant Judgment Exercise (AJE)”, which comprises a dilemma situation in the patterns of the Moral Judgment Test (MJT) and presents a scenario based on the accountant/business context. The ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants and offers a non-conventional higher education program. One of the goals of ACCA is to sensitize students to the moral dimension of their profession, particularly to the fact that business/ professional ethics is much more than just complying with legal/regulatory requirements. The purpose of the present paper is, thus, to present data from an intervention study conducted with aproximatedely 400 ACCA students from more than ten different countries, who participated in the implementation of a new professional ethics module. The instruments used were the Moral Judgment Test (MJT) and the Accountant Judgment Exercise. Participants answered the questionnaires before and after the intervention. Results from the MJT and from the students’ decisions about the moral dilemma presented in the AJE are analyzed considering the following variables: age, gender, nationality, years of professional and educational experience and native language (if other than the test language, English). In addition, a qualitative analysis to the question “Tell us what you have learned” - which was asked after the completion of the ethic module - is performed. The discussion focuses mainly on the following questions: a) the advantages and disadvantages of using the AJE as a supporting tool to foster moral judgment competence; b) the use of online, interactive direct learning/teaching in opposition to conventional ethical programs; c) cultural differences. Suggestions for improving the methods of fostering moral judgment competence are considered.

Rignald Sitoris

Curacao &
University of Konstanz Konstanz
rignald sitoris

  The MJT and Piaget's Affective-Cognitive Parallelism: ‘Bootstrapping' and A Reading from the theory of Logical Types

In a similar vein as James Rest’s “neo-Kohlbergian view” has been working with the DIT and Kohlberg’s theory, Georg Lind has been applying Popper’s “circular” process between empirical validity and theoretical reflection to the MJT. Although this process called “Bootstrapping” by Kohlberg (1984) has yielded many concrete results, both practical/theoretical and applied, they have been widely neglected by Kohlberg’s “family” of theories and by mainstream theories of morality. One of these major resulting contributions is the construction of a valid and reliable instrument to assess both the affective aspect of moral orientation and the cognitive aspect of moral behavior. Rescuing Kohlberg’s original concept of moral judgment competence, Lind applied for more than three decades this bootstrapping to Piaget’s hypothesis of affective-cognitive parallelism and his MJT; turning it into a “progressive problem shift” . Though being successful on the empirical side of this process, I will argue that this shift isn’t complete on the conceptual end due to some basic inherited flaws from both Piaget’s Genetic Epistemological Program and general Academic Psychology. Just like other Piaget derivate theories, Lind’s Dual Aspect theory inherited some of these fundamental flaws together with the Cognition/Affect dichotomy. Building on Russell’s theory of “Logical Types”, Ernest Hilgard’s (1980) seminal paper on the trilogy of Cognition, Affection, and Connation, and on the late Terrence Brown’s work (1994), I will demonstrate that these uncorrected historical flaws lie at the center of most of the contemporary intuitionist/rationalist debates of moral judgment fueled by Marc Hauser’s (2006) revival of the moral version of the learning paradox. They have also blocked the way for a fruitful integration of the recent neurological findings on fMRI (Damasio, 1994; Greene, 2001) into mainstream Cognitive Developmental theory. I will conclude with basic metaintegrative theoretical proposals for a “progressive problem shift” in the Kohlbergian “family” of theories.
Key Words: Moral judgment competence, Bootstrapping, Affective-Cognitive Parallelism, Family of theories, Intuitionism, Rationalism, Logical Types, progressive problem shift, Learning Paradox.

Shaogang Yang

Institute of Moral Education and Mental Education
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

  The Features of Moral Judgment Competence Among Chinese Adolescents

In this research “Moral Judgment Test” (MJT) is used as an instrument that was developed by German psychologist, Georg Lind in 1976, we added some items after the standard MJT. The research had 724 Chinese adolescents as the participants whose ages are ranged from 14 to 27 years old. The results show that: the C scores are increased with the increase of the students’ ages and grades, but there are some fluctuations among different grades. It is obvious that the school education could improve students’ competence of moral judgment, but there still exist some instable factors. There is no significant difference in their C scores between male and female students, among different grades within certain schools and universities, and among students with various professions, the key schools and the regular schools as well as the two-year and the four-year college students.

Soudabeh Saeidi-Parvaneh

Doktorantin, Department of Psychology, Universität Konstanz

  Die religiös bedingte moralische Segmentierung bei iranischen Studenten

Eine Datenvergleich zwischen Deutschland, Mexiko und Italien schlägt eine neue Erklärung für Segmentierung vor.: die Religiöse Studenten unterdrücken ihre autonome moralische Meinung zu Dilemma Inhalt, auf dem die Kirche einen starken Stand nimmt.(Lind,2000)
Dieses Phänomen wurde in schiitischen- islamische Kultur im Iran untersucht um zu überprüfen ob eine religiöse Umwelt retardierend wirkt (indem sie die Moralentwicklung generell bremst) oder ob sie regressiv wirkt (indem sie in bestimmten Bereichen zur Rückentwicklung von moralischer Urteils- und Diskursfähigkeit führt).
Um die Frage nach zu gehen wurde die MUT (Moralische Urteilsfähigkeit Test von Lind) bei iranischen Studenten in Tehran und Mashhad eingesetzt.
Es wurde vermutet dass „Bei islamischen Studierenden sich ein hohes Maß an moralischer Segmentierung finden, d.h., sie zeigen bei dem (auch im Islam mit einem Dogma belegten) Thema „Sterbehilfe“ eine viel geringere moralische Urteilsfähigkeit als bei dem anderen Dilemma, bei dem es um ein Problem aus der Arbeitswelt geht, zu dem die Mullahs kein Dogma verkündet haben. Die Prognose war dass der mittlere C-Wert im Sterbehilfe-Dilemma um mindestens 5 Punkte unter dem mittleren C-Wert im Arbeiter-Dilemma Liegt.
Die Vermutung Lässt sich bestätigen. Die Berechnung der C-Wert von Arbeiter- und Sterbehilfe Dilemma zeigt, dass die Studenten bei der Sterbehilfe Dilemma sehr geringer C-Wert haben. Der absolute Effektstärke (= 18,86) ist hoch signifikant. Die islamische Religion wirkt regressive auf die moralische Urteils- und Diskursfähigkeit bei bestimmten Themen wie Sterbehilfe.

Lind, G., (2003).Does Religion Foster or Hamper Morality and Democracy? Invited lecture at the meeting of the Association for Moral Association in Krakow, Poland, July 19th, 2003.
Lind, G. (2008). The meaning and measurement of moral judgment competence revisited – A dual-aspect model. In: D. Fasko, W. Willis, Eds., Contemporary Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives on Moral Development and Education . Cresskill. NJ: Hampton Press, S. 185 – 220.

Gerald Taylor

Tempe Elementary School District
7501 East Cambridge Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

  Dilemmatic Logical Reasoning Competence in Adolescent Moral Reasoning and Development: A Pilot Training Program

Moral reasoning and judging involve logical reasoning, the forming and evaluating of arguments with moral content. Researchers have historically overlooked the dilemmatic
argument forms required for successful reasoning with hypothetical moral dilemmas central to dominant moral development assessment instruments, such as the Defining Issues Test (DIT-2) and the Moral Judgment Test (MJT). Adolescents have considerable difficulties with dilemmatic reasoning, and its constituent argument forms, conjunctive, disjunctive, and conditional reasoning.
Cognitive scientists have argued that moral perception is subject to the same ambiguities, illusions, reversals, and Gestalt shifts as visual perception because they share the same brain parts and processes. If adolescent moral competence is constrained by logical and perceptual reasoning abilities, then it is theoretically possible to improve moral competence by increasing logical and perceptual reasoning skills through educational interventions.
In a pilot intervention program, ninety-nine middle school students were pretested with the DIT-2, then assigned randomly to logic, perception, or control groups. Educational interventions trained one group in conditional and dilemmatic reasoning using symbolic logic, and another group in viewing ambiguous and impossible figures in the context of the artwork of M.C. Escher. Subjects were then posttested on the DIT-2, MJT, and the PROM (Prosocial Reasoning Objective Measure) to determine any significant main or interaction effects for group or gender.
Due to limitations of the pilot study’s sample, no significant group or gender differences were found for any of the moral assessment instruments. However, significant group and gender differences were found in scores on post-intervention logic and perception tests. Adolescent males outperformed females in the conditional reasoning task, females outperformed males in the Gestalt Closure task, and logic group subjects outperformed control group subjects in the dilemmatic reasoning task. The implications of these findings for future moral, logical reasoning, and perceptual reasoning research are discussed.

Jutta H. Wester de Michelini

Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto
Fotheringham 463
5800 Río Cuarto


The dilemma of responsible application of universal ethical norms in concrete contexts of social action. The contribution of the kohlbergian theory and Lind´s Moral Judgment Test to current discussions in philosophical ethics

Discourse ethics, one of the most important positions in current philosophical ethics, defines itself as a macro-ethics for our technical and scientific civilization and as capable of responding to the challenges of our globalized, intercultural and deeply asymmetrical world. It is an ethical theory that lays the foundations for principles and basic moral norms and reflects on the problems of historical application of well-founded norms. In this context, Karl-Otto Apel has defined the notion of reciprocal co-responsibility and the principle of historical application. The tension between the ideal of universal ethical norms and the real context of application is found in both ideas. Nevertheless, this relation still lacks of a more precise determination and of an understanding of the problems, conflicts and specific dilemmas that arise in the process of responsible application of universal ethical norms. This contribution seeks to outline the theoretical implications of this problem and to demonstrate that the kohlbergian theory of moral development, as well as empirical studies by means of the Moral Judgment Test, developed by Georg Lind, offer possibilities to understand in a more accomplished way the tension we referred to. With this aim, we will present some results of an empirical study carried out with students of the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina. After the application of the MJT, we conducted interviews that shed light not only on some inconsistencies of the moral judgment of the respondents but also on specific dilemmas for making responsible decisions in real action situations.

Wolfgang G. Weber

Institute of Psychology
University of Innsbruck, Austria

  Organisational Democracy and Socio-Moral Atmosphere - Antecedents of Humanistic Behavioral Orientations of Employees?

The project Organizational Democracy (Weber, Unterrainer & Höge, 2008) focuses on the socialisation potential of democratic principles inherent to work-life. Firms where direct democratic participation exists are expected to provide forums where employees can discuss, reflect, and decide on matters relevant to their everyday work-life. They provide also opportunities to discuss moral-relevant problems and to prepare decisions requiring moral judgments on a high level. We hypothesized that with increasing level of workers' participation, employees experience a pronounced socio-moral atmosphere (cf. Power, Higgins & Kohlberg, 1989; Lempert, 1993) which is positively associated with prosocial, humanitarian, and democratic orientations, too.
Based on expert interviews and document analyses, eight types of enterprises were derived and pooled into three groups of organisational democracy. 542 participants from 30 enterprises from four German-speaking countries were surveyed with a standardised questionnaire (cross-sectional design). Results (ANOVA and MANOVA) demonstrate a strong positive influence of organisational democracy on socio-moral atmosphere. Both have an substantial effect on the readiness of employees to show solidarity and to engage themselves for democratic affairs in the society. Humanistic values increase with the level of organisational democracy. Finally, socio-moral atmosphere seems to influence prosocial work behavior but not humanistic value orientation.
We also conducted SEM analyses with a subset of this sample (N = 325) considering effects of individually perceived participation in democratic decision-making. All in all, findings support the results of the variance analyses with an acceptable model fit. It will be discussed why it is likely that these results represent not only effects of pre-occupational socialisation or selection effects.