ERIC Number: ED211895
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Moral Behavior as Rule Governed Behavior: Person and System Effects on Moral Decision Making.
Kurtines, William M.; And Others
Recent approaches to research on moral development have considered the preeminence of situational factors in moral development and moral behavior. An open systems approach emphasizes the interactive effects of person and situation variables on moral decision-making. The interactive effects of three sets of variables on moral decision-making were explored with undergraduates (N=64) who made moral choices for each of six simulated situations which varied in type and attribute of situation. Subjects also completed a measure of moral value preference designed to assess individual differences in preferences for justice, utility, or pragmatism as moral values. Results showed that, across all six situations, the total amount of variance explained by both personal situation variables was consistently quite high; the total amount of variance shared by person and situation variables was quite low. Although situation attributes consistently accounted for a higher proportion of variance than person-related factors, in all six situations, person-related factors contributed a significant proportion of unique variance. The findings support a systems approach to moral judgment that views moral decision-making as a multidimensional process affected by a complex interaction between person and situation factors. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (27th, Atlanta, GA, March 25-28, 1981).