Characteristics of Moral Problems as Formulated by Gifted Adolescents

Journal of Moral Education 11 (4):219-232 (1982)
Abstract A study was conducted to examine the nature of moral problems as formulated by gifted adolescents. Subjects from Grades 9?12 were asked to generate stories involving a moral problem and to provide a solution. As in Kohlberg's moral dilemmas, students depicted a central protagonist as well as a definite subsidiary character. There was a significant relationship between the sex of the student and the sex of the protagonist. The protagonist and subsidiary characters were approximate to the age of the subject. Half (53 per cent) of the moral problems involved friendship or a love relationship between the protagonist and the subsidiary character. Most subjects (92 per cent) were able to give guidelines for a solution to their moral problem. Solutions to moral problems were categorized as indicating primarily either a personal (focus on self) or social (focus on group or society at large) perspective. The majority (55 per cent) of subjects gave solutions based on a social perspective, while 45 per cent offered solutions indicating a personal perspective. Comparisons by sex and grade revealed that older students (Grades 11 and 12) tended to resolve their moral problems from a personal perspective while the younger students (Grades 9 and 10) more often took a social perspective. Comparisons were also made between the stories written by gifted adolescents, the Kohlberg dilemmas, and the moral dilemmas formulated by a general population of adolescents (Yussen, 1977)
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DOI 10.1080/0305724820110401
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Roger R. Straughan (1975). Hypothetical Moral Situations. Journal of Moral Education 4 (3):183-189.

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