ERIC Number: ED113017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr-10
Reference Count: N/A
New Options in Assessing Moral Judgment and Criteria for Evaluating Validity.
Rest, James R.
This paper describes the rationale for the Defining Issues Test (DIT), an objective test of moral judgment which attempts to improve upon three aspects of Kohlberg's research: data collection, categorization of moral judgments (the scoring system), and method of indexing a subject's progress in a developmental sequence. In each case, the way in which the DIT overcomes problems in the Kohlberg system is described and explained. In the DIT, the subject is given a moral dilemma and asked to classify his own thoughts. Results of the DIT show subjects to be more advanced and to display more principled thinking than would be expected from Kohlberg's data. This discrepancy is explained in terms of differences between the DIT task and Kohlberg's task. It is thought that the latter may seriously underestimate people's recognition and discrimination of principled thinking. In addition, it is argued that an accurate system for indexing an individual's development must go beyond stage typing (the categorization of the individual in terms of one developmental stage). A theory of decalage is called for, to describe the interplay of variables related to uneven acquisition of characteristics associated with a given stage. For the present, it is suggested that moral judgment data be preserved for later reanalysis, and that various indices be examined for best fit with the empirical properties expected of the construct moral judgment. Appended are two tables: (1) the DIT format, and (2) major validity questions and comparison of findings with Kohlberg's Test and DIT. (GO)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Defining Issues Test