ERIC Number: ED398636
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Moral Perception: A New Construct?
Narvaez, Darcia F.
What leads to the blatant incongruity between reality and perception with which individuals and groups perceive moral events in the world? This paper focuses on a few of the elements involved in the interpretation of the events that may lead to different perspectives, suggesting a new construct--moral perception. Rest (1983) expanded the psychological notion of morality by proposing a model of moral behavior based on four psychological processes--moral sensitivity, moral judgment, moral motivation, and ego strength. The paper explores the nature of the first component, moral sensitivity, by reformulating it into two parts, moral perception and moral interpretation. The paper also presents findings of a study that examined whether or not there are encoding differences for moral, social, and nonsocial perception. The study tested the hypothesis that moral interaction and social interaction enhance encoding of events. A total of 556 volunteers from introductory psychology classes responded to slides that depicted people engaged in either nonsocial, social, or moral interactions. Based on responses, the sample was divided into a high- and a low-recall group. Low recallers best remembered the moral interactions, followed by the social interactions, and then by the nonsocial interactions. However, the high-recall group, who had better memories for everything, best remembered the nonsocial interactions, followed by the social, and then by the moral interactions. (Contains 12 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).