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ERIC Number: ED411482
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Age and Gender Trends in Adults' Normative Moral Reasoning.
Leon, Marjorie Roth; Lynn, Tracey; McLean, Patricia; Perri, Lynn
The construct of moral reasoning may be conceived of as having a dualistic nature, with moral decision-making termed either empirical morality or normative morality. Although it has been tacitly assumed that normative moral values can be inferred from empirical morality methods of investigation, there exists data to suggest that this may not be the case. To investigate this claim, the components of adults' normative moral reasoning and rationales for moral choices were examined. Participants included 20 younger adults (age 20-29), 19 middle-aged adults (age 30-49), and 15 older adults (age 50-80). All of the subjects stated definitions and reasons for being a good/bad person and taking/avoiding good/bad actions. Persons were judged primarily by justice and secondarily by care concerns. Results indicate that the concept of normative morality is complex, consisting not just of global, undifferentiated care and justice concerns, but rather encompassing a variety of independent component care, justice, and other concerns. Age strongly moderated responses, with younger adults identifying kindness to others and upholding societal standards, middle-aged adults identifying preventing harm to others and upholding societal standards, and older adults identifying duty to others and promotion of self-growth as important normative moral principles. Gender proved to be a weak moderator of adults' normative moral reasoning. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A