ERIC Number: ED235436
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Ethical Perspectives, Reactions to Other's Moral Behavior, and Consequent Moral Action.
Pope, William R.; Forsyth, Donelson R.
In analyzing various moral and legal philosophies, two perspectives emerge, absolute moral rules/higher law, and situationally-specific moral rules/legal positivism. From these two perspectives, four types of individuals emerge in accordance with their degree of adherence to ideological tenets: (1) situationists (high on idealism and relativism); (2) subjectivists (low on idealism, high on relativism); (3) absolutists (high on idealism, low on relativism); and (4) exceptionists (low on idealism and relativism). The Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ), a 9-point Likert-type instrument, was developed to identify ordinary people according to one of the four categories. Subsequently, subjects representing the four ethical types were participants in various research studies judging contemporary issues, moral vignettes, classical psychological experiments, responses to accusations regarding a possible lie, and moral behavior. Across all studies, absolutists were concerned with rigid adherence to traditional moral guidelines; exceptionists, though concerned with moral rules, conceived of circumstances whereby these rules might be suspended. Situationists made moral evaluations with the situation as their central focus. Subjectivists allowed personal values and concerns to affect their moral evaluations. The Ethics Position Questionnaire is appended. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ethics Position Questionnaire (Forsyth); Idealism; Relativism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (29th, Atlanta, GA, March 23-26, 1983).