ERIC Number: ED348617
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Institutional Atmosphere, Individual Development, and the Higher Moral Stages.
Commons, Michael L.; And Others
Institutional atmosphere forms the context of reasoning in an institution and defines the relationship between the individual and the organizational framework of the institution. The hierarchical complexity of the institutional dilemmas solved by people interacting in that institution defines the stages of reasoning embodied in the atmosphere. The stage of reasoning by individuals interacts with the stage of atmosphere particular to an institution. The contingencies embodied in atmosphere are the relationships between what a person does in a situation and what outcome occurs. These rules are sometimes called reinforcement contingencies when the outcome increases the likelihood of the behavior, and punishment contingencies when they reduce the likelihood of the behavior. Individual choice creates, and is created by, the contingencies and their settings within the social group. In this study the stage of statements from open ended interviews with key individuals (N=28) who teach or study ethics at Harvard University (Massachusettts) were assessed. Stage was assessed using the General Stage Scoring System, which in turn was based on the General Stage Model (Commons & Richards). Included in the interview were adaptations of Armon's Good Life Instrument, a dilemma constructed from an actual incident, and the Heinz dilemma (Colby & Kohlberg). Stage ranged from 4 to 5, suggesting that the institutional atmosphere of the university may not reinforce individual development to the highest stages but rather may tend to limit it at the systematic stage. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (63rd, Boston, MA, April 3-5, 1992).