Sources of Influence in Moral Thought: the new Moral Authority Scale

Journal of Moral Education 25 (4):421-439 (1996)
Abstract Current interest in theorising about moral judgement has been dominated by Kohlberg's (1969, 1971) cognitive developmental view. This paper will argue that Kohlberg's and Rest's purely ?formalistic? conceptualisations of moral judgement and associated measures may misrepresent the true nature of moral thought. Henry (1983a) and Trainer (1982) have identified certain logical inconsistencies in Kohlberg's reliance on the ?form? of moral judgements, arguing for a reconceptualisation in terms of the ?content? of moral judgement, a much neglected yet equally informative alternative. In light of this, the present study attempts to operationalise Henry's content distinction with respect to Kohlberg's stage approach. Psychometric properties of a new measure called the Moral Authority Scale (MAS) are reported. The MAS was administered twice to 93 late adolescents. Findings revealed that test?retest and split?half reliabilities of the MAS subscales were appropriately high. The convergent validity of the MAS with the Defining Issues Test (DIT) and discriminant validity confirmed some predictions. Moreover, the item?total correlational analysis suggests that the MAS has strong structural validity. In line with Henry's reformulation, the MAS acknowledges that people maintain a range of views representing different types of moral judgement. By measuring perceived sources of influence on moral reasoning, the MAS has the potential to help educators and researchers gain a better understanding of the role of social?interactional contexts for the learning of ?what or who is important? when making moral judgements
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0305724960250404
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,664
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Maike Albertzart (2013). Principle-Based Moral Judgement. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):339-354.
Bill Puka (2002). The DIT and the 'Dark Side' of Development. Journal of Moral Education 31 (3):339-352.
Daniel Pekarsky (1983). Moral Choice and Education. Journal of Moral Education 12 (1):3-13.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

3 ( #665,765 of 1,902,892 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #446,006 of 1,902,892 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.